An ATR 72-212 turboprop operated by Cuba’s Aero Caribbean crashed yesterday at 5:40 p.m. local time in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spiritus, killing all 61 passengers and seven crewmembers. Flight 883, en route from Santiago de Cuba to Havana, lost contact with air traffic controllers after declaring “an emergency situation.”
Cuban aviation authorities subsequently suspended all flights as a result of Hurricane Tomas, which had been approaching the region at the time of the crash. However, officials from the IACC (Instituto de Aéronautica Civil de Cuba) have given no indication that they suspect the hurricane was a factor in the crash.
The aircraft, S/N 459, rolled off the ATR production line in Toulouse in November 1995. It had accumulated almost 25,000 flight hours during the course of more than 34,500 flights. Aero Caribbean had operated the airplane since October 2006.