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Cuba: Ice, Human Error Caused Deadly November Plane Crash

Police and soldiers stand at the location where an Aero Caribbean flight crashed in Guasimal, 400 km (249 miles) from Havana, Nov 5, 2010 (file photo)

Investigators in Cuba say weather conditions and pilot error caused an airliner to crash in the Caribbean country last month, killing all 68 people on board.

In Cuban state media Thursday, Cuba's Civil Aeronautics Institute said the AeroCaribbean turboprop began its flight on Nov 4 with no problems, but encountered severe icy conditions at an altitude of about 6,000 meters.

The report said the icing, coupled with crew errors, led to the crash. It says the plane was in good technical condition and all its systems were functioning properly prior to the crash.

The ATR 72-212 aircraft had left Santiago de Cuba and was en route to Havana when it crashed in a mountainous area in the central Sancti Spiritus province, where thick vegetation hampered recovery efforts. Investigators did recover the "black box" flight data and voice recorders.

Cuban state media reported the passengers included travelers from 10 foreign countries - Argentina, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain and Venezuela. Thirty-three passengers and all seven crew members were Cuban.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.