Cuba in mourning

After a terrible plane accident, minutes after taking off from Havana’s José Martí International Airport, Cuba is living an official mourning because of the tragedy.

The Cuban flag is flying at half mast today in homage to the victims of yesterday’s plane accident in which 108 persons died. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE.
The Cuban flag is flying at half mast today in homage to the victims of yesterday’s plane accident in which 108 persons died. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE.
Inés González, mother of one of the deceased in the air crash in which 108 of the 111 persons on board died yesterday in Havana (Cuba), is crying today, Saturday May 19, 2018, when leaving the Institute of Forensic Medicine where the victims are being identified. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto / EFE.
Inés González, mother of one of the deceased in the air crash in which 108 of the 111 persons on board died yesterday in Havana (Cuba), is crying today, Saturday May 19, 2018, when leaving the Institute of Forensic Medicine where the victims are being identified. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto / EFE.

Ongoing investigations

Engineer Rolando Parera, general director of José Martí International Airport, told the National Telvision Newscast in its May 19 noon broadcast that they had worked “throughout the early morning hours” in the investigtion of the disaster’s causes.

“No one rested and the persons who professionally carry out this type of work were doing it throughout the night…to be able to collect all the necessary evidence and arguments where the disaster occurred to be able to make progress in the investigation.”

Until now no cause has been revealed. A commission, presided over by the Institute of Civil Aeronautics, is carrying out “an exhaustive investigation” in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior. “The process of clarification will be complex,” the authorities, cited by Granma, have said, adding the setbacks due to the rain.

Sources from Global Air, also registered as Damojh Aerolíneas, explained that they are “waiting for the Cuban authorities to confirm the number of survivors and the nationality of the victims.”

Two Saharawi among the deceased

EFE reports, citing diplomatic sources, that two Saharawi men are among the victims of the accident, in which 108 of the 111 persons on board a Global Air Boeing 737, rented by Cubana de Aviación, died.

With the identification of these two persons the nationality is known of four of the five foreign passengers who died in the accident, among which there was also an Argentinian couple.

To these five persons are added the six members of the crew, all of them Mexicans, who also died.

Sixty-seven residents in Holguín were traveling on the plane that crashed. For the identification of the bodies 135 family members have been transported by road to Havana. Initially a flight had been previewed, but it was suspended because of the weather.

“The speed of the identification depends to a great extent on the information and drawing up of the individual files or characteristics of the passengers,” explained Dr. Jorge Pérez González, who is on a working visit to Holguín and is the national director of Medical Teaching, a specialist in Forensic Medicine.

The newspaper Ahora reported “an endless network of telephone calls and attempts to communicate through the Internet, after the disaster that caused the death of more than a hundred persons was unofficially known (through the social media, fundamentally) and afterwards by the media and the official communique.

Eight Granma residents among the victims

Federico Hernández, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) in Granma, confirmed that eight persons from that province are among the victims of the plane crash which occurred yesterday noon in Havana.

The survivors, stable but in serious condition

A survivor of the Boeing 737 that crashed a while after taking off from Havana’s José Martí International Airport is being treated on Friday May 18 in the Calixto García Hospital. Photo: Marcelino Vázquez / EFE.
A survivor of the Boeing 737 that crashed a while after taking off from Havana’s José Martí International Airport is being treated on Friday May 18 in the Calixto García Hospital. Photo: Marcelino Vázquez / EFE.

Pope Francis’ condolences

Pope Francis, “vividly saddened,” today expressed his condolences over the plane accident in Cuba which has left a toll of 107 victims, in a telegram sent to the archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Guillermo García Ibáñez, EFE reported.

“The Holy Father, vividly saddened when hearing the painful news of the plane accident…offers intercessory prayers for the eternal rest of the deceased, while expressing his closeness to the wounded,” said the missive, signed as is usual by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

The Pope asks Monsignor García “to transmit the heartfelt condolences of His Holiness together with expressions of consolation to the relatives, who at this hour of pain are crying over the unexpected separation from their loved ones.”

The Pontiff also “asks the Lord to shed over the affected spiritual serenity and Christian hope, for which he grants them the heartfelt apostolic blessing,” the telegram concludes.

List of persons on board flight DMJ 0972

(Taken from Cubadebate)

1. Alexia Garcia Leyva
2. Kendry Morales Meneses
3. Gabriela Machado Morales
4. Diego Pérez Chacón
5. Alexa Rivas Figueredo
6. Marina García Vega
7. Maria Elena Aguilar Ramos
8. Mirta Leonarda Anaya Peña
9. Martha Cabrera Caballero
10. Julio Toribio Espinosa Licea
11. Israel Gálvez Martínez
12. Rodolfo Hernández González
13. Vivian Paula Martínez Fernández
14. Magalys Miranda Pérez
15. Maricela Peña Blanco
16. Yainelín Rodríguez Aguedo
17. Eddy Antonio Rodríguez Hernández
18. Ernesto Roberto Rodriguez Oliva
19. Nirza Rodriguez Rondón
20. Luis Manuel Rojas Pérez
21. María Salomé Sánchez Arévalo
22. Emiley Sánchez De La O (Survivor)
23. Tania María Santiesteban Prado
24. Maricela Sánchez Peña
25. Carlos Antonio Santos González
26. Carmen Rosa Silva Zambrano
27. Norma Suárez Niles
28. Daniel Terrero Charchabal
29. Yanira Torres Cruz
30. Iliana Trinchet Mendoza
31. Inés Emilia Trinchet Mendoza
32. Caleb Valdés Gallego
33. Raúl Valdés López
34. Juana Amparo Valdes Peralta
35. Ania Varona Abrahan
36. Juan Luis Vega Velázazquez
37. Rafael Vega Velázquez
38. Margarita Elena Velázquez Espinosa
39. Ronni Alain Pupo Pupo
40. Mariela Cruz Torres
41. Nelson Osorio Pérez
42. María Virgen Filandez Rojas
43. Enrique Alfredo Martínez Nates
44. Ricardo De La Caridad Martínez Hernández
45. Anyelis Meneses Del Rio
46. Luz Marina Milanés Cartaya
47. Yurisel Milagros Miranda Mulet
48. Adonayda Morales Varona
49. Elva María Mosqueda Legrá
50. Yailenis Navarro Díaz
51. Juan Carlos Nogueras Leyva
52. Karina Beatríz Oliva Mir
53. Eloy Ortiz Abad
54. Jorgelino Ortiz Cruz
55. Yanet Rosa Paz Ramírez
56. Yunaisi Pelegrino Reyes
57. Gelover Martín Pérez Avalo
58. Pedro Oscar Pérez Batista
59. Pedro Pablo Trujillo Ravelo
60. Grettel Isel De La Cruz Cutiño
61. Yunisleidys Abreu Lara
62. Ana Aguedo Rodriguez
63. Manuel David Aguilar Saavedra
64. Alejandro José Alvarez Crespo
65. Lázaro Garcia Amador
66. Marla Elizabeth Bauta Rodriguez
67. Maida Francisca Abdala Almoza
68. Leticia De La Caridad Almenares Pantoja
69. Raimundo Guillermo Almenares Sánchez
70. Julio César Avilés Gómez
71. Iskander Antonio Báster Pérez
72. Lorenzo Boch Bring
73. Jorge Alberto Borrego Cabrera
74. Jorge Luis Buitrago Cabrera
75. Gisel Buitrago Santiesteban
76. Carlos Miguel De La Cruz Cutiño
77. Juan Alberto De La Torre Alcántara
78. Mailén Díaz Almaguer (Survivor)
79. Adonis Díaz Oberto
80. Suyen Lizandra Figueredo Driggs
81. José Carlos Figueroa Campos
82. Grisell Filandes Clark
83. Migdalia De La Caridad Gallego Nuñez
84. Jesús Manuel García Oberto
85. Enrique González Arguelle
86. Yandro Enrique González Mendez
87. Jorge Luis Guerra Concepción
88. Nelson Ramón Hernandez Rodríguez
89. Yisell Herminia Infante Miranda
90. Grettel Landrove Font (Survivor)
91. Mónica Leyva García
92. Jose Angel Leyva Chapman
93. Carlos Enrique Llauró Meneses
94. Jean Michel Lopez Salinas
95. Miguel López Marrero
96. Patricia Dayvin Crespo Llanes
97. Yoneisi Cordovez Rodriguez
98. Lirise Cruz Pérez
99. Noelbis Hernández Guerrero
100. Frank Torres González
101. Meinaldo Duverger Ramos
102. Yovanys Ricardo Mora
103. Mohamed Hach
104. Abderrahm Fadel Mustafa
105. Oscar Hugo Almara
106. Dora Beatriz Cifuentes De Almara
107. Isela Savala Franco
108. Miguel Arreola Ramírez
109. Jorge Nuñez Santos
110. Marco López Pérez
111. María Ríos Rodríguez
112. Abigail Hernández García
113. Guadalupe LimonGarcia

Relatives and close friends of yesterday’s plane accident in Havana started arriving.

 

Twenty evangelical pastors are among the deceased.

Courtesy flights for relatives of the victims

The Gulfstream Air Charter airline, in solidarity with the family members, are offering free round trip tickets to Cuba.

 

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