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Cuba plane crash investigation will focus on age of 39-year-old jet which burst into flames killing 110 people


Investigations into an air crash that killed 110 people will focus on the 39-year-old plane’s age as a possible cause.

The Cubana de ­Aviacion Boeing 737 came down shortly after take off from Havana airport in Cuba.

Amazingly, three women aged between 25 and 39, survived. But 20 priests were among the dead.

Aviation expert Richard Aboulafia said of the plane, leased from a Mexican firm: “That’s one of the oldest passenger jets I have heard of that is still in service.”

A female survivor of the crash that claimed 110 lives arrives at hospital

The average age of Ryanair’s fleet of 300 737s is just five years old.

There were also reports the jet was banned from flying to Guyana last year amid claims of luggage overloading. Cuba’s ­aviation industry is in such dire straits that many domestic flights have been grounded over safety.

It leases from other nations, with planes that are often very old.

Boeing is sending experts to Havana to help with the probe into Friday’s crash.

They will also be looking into the firm that leased the plane.

Claims of previous safety complaints have begun to surface against the little-known company.

Relatives of victims of the Havana crash embrace at a hotel on Saturday

The black box has been found and is said to be in a “good condition”. Witnesses said the doomed jet was attempting to return to the airport when it clipped electrical wires.

Supermarket worker Jose Luis said: “I saw it taking off. All of a sudden, it made a turn and went down.”

Restaurant owner Gilberto Menendez added: “We heard an explosion then saw a cloud of smoke.”

A relative of one survivor said: “She is alive but very burnt.”

Boeing 737s are the most popular planes in the world. One expert said: “It is one of the safest planes. It’s safety record is second to none.”

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