Black box recovered after deadly Cuban air crash

Black box recovered after deadly Cuban air crash

Authorities recovered the flight data recorder of a passenger plane that crashed in Cuba, killing all 68 people on board, the government said, dpa reported.

   The so-called black box, which records instrument readings and conversations in the cockpit, was found Friday night in the charred wreckage of the twin-engine turboprop ATR-72-212 that went down Thursday night in the central region of Guasimal in the province of Sancti Spiritus.

   The information recorded by black boxes is used by investigators to determine the causes of airplane crashes.

   The reason behind the crash of the plane belonging to Cuba's state-owned Aerocaribbean SA airline was not known, but experts speculated that Hurricane Tomas, which passed near Cuba, might have played a role.

   Among the dead on the flight that took off from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba for the capital, Havana, were seven crew members and 28 foreigners.

   A list of passengers released by the government website cubadebate.cu said the passengers consisted of 40 Cubans, including the crew, as well as nine Argentinians, seven Mexicans, three Dutch, two Germans, two Austrians, one Frenchman, one Italian, one Spaniard, one Japanese and one Venezuelan.

   The crash occurred in a thickly forested, mountainous area near the Presa Zaza Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Cuba.

   It was one of the highest death tolls in the history of Cuban aviation. The worst crash occurred in 1989 when 155 people were killed when a Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-62 crashed into a populated area shortly after takeoff from Havana. Forty of the dead were people on the ground.

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