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Cuba Finds Second Black Box in Deadly Crash


Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel, third from left, walks away from the site where a Boeing 737 plummeted into a yuca field with more than 100 passengers on board, in Havana, Cuba, May 18, 2018. Cuban investigators have retrieved both black boxes from the wreckage.

Cuban search teams have retrieved the flight data recorder from the passenger plane that crashed last Friday, killing all but two of the 113 people on board, Cuban state-run television announced Thursday in the evening news broadcast.

They had already found the cockpit voice recorder. Videos of the tragedy taken by passers-by and locals, plus their testimony had helped investigators locate the second recorder.

Both, known as the "black box," are crucial to explaining what went wrong with the 39-year-old plane, which dived into fields south of Havana shortly after takeoff, bursting into flames.

The Boeing 737, leased by the little-known Mexican company Damojh to Cuba's flagship carrier Cubana, had been destined for the eastern city of Holguin and 100 of the victims were Cuban.

Grieving relatives of passengers who perished in Cuba's worst aviation disaster wait at the morgue for the identification of the bodies in Havana, Cuba, May 20, 2018.
Grieving relatives of passengers who perished in Cuba's worst aviation disaster wait at the morgue for the identification of the bodies in Havana, Cuba, May 20, 2018.

Seven Mexicans, two Argentines and two Sahrawis from a disputed area in the Western Sahara known as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic also died in the tragedy.

Cuba is leading the probe into the crash, one of the Caribbean island's worst ever, together with Mexican and U.S. investigators.

Two Cuban women have survived but are in a critical condition because of burns and other trauma, the director of the hospital where they are being attended has said.

Mexico's civil aviation authority said on Monday it had suspended Damojh's operations while it made sure the firm adhered to regulations and gathered information to help investigators find the cause of the crash.

Previous complaints over inadequate maintenance and safety measures have surfaced in recent days.

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