Home Latin America Cuba plane crash: Mexico suspends Aerolíneas Damojh

Cuba plane crash: Mexico suspends Aerolíneas Damojh

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Mexico's civil air authority has suspended the operations of a company that owned the plane involved in Cuba's deadliest air disaster in 30 years.

Last Friday's crash near Havana killed 110 people immediately, while one more died on Monday.

Officials said in a statement on Monday that Aerolíneas Damojh was under "extraordinary verification".

The charter company had leased the aeroplane in question to Cuban state airlines Cubana de Aviación.

One of the three survivors of the crash, 23-year-old Grettel Landrove, died of her wounds on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 111.

The plane was reportedly built in 1979. One former pilot said it had dropped off radar once, while another alleged that maintenance was poor.

The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) statement, in Spanish, says the authority will seek information to help the crash investigation, and about whether the Mexican company continues to follow regulations.

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It says Aerolíneas Damojh was subject to previous investigations: in 2010, due to a crash in Puerto Vallarta, and in 2013 following a complaint from an airline pilot.

The authority has run "annual checks" on Aerolíneas Damojh, the statement reads, with the most recent in November 2017. All aircraft have to renew their airworthiness certificates every two years.

The head of Guyana's civil aviation body, Cpt Egbert Field, told the Associated Press news agency that the plane that crashed had been barred from using Guyanese airspace last year after authorities found its crew were overloading luggage on flights in Cuba.

In one instance, the news agency reports, Guyanese authorities had discovered suitcases stored in the plane's toilets.

The plane crashed after taking off from Havana airport. It was a scheduled internal flight to the Cuban town of Holguin.

All six crew members were Mexican, while the majority of passengers were Cuban.

An Argentine couple and two passengers from the dispute territory of Western Sahara were also killed, as was a Mexico tourist.

Two women survived the crash – Mailen Diaz, 19, and Emiley Sanchez, 39. Reports say they are in critical condition.

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