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Cuban Plane Crashes in Ecuador

August 29, 1998

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) _ A Cuban commercial aircraft carrying 82 people burst in flames and crashed Saturday in Ecuador, authorities said. Dozens were believed killed.

Witnesses said the Russian-made Tupolev aircraft owned by Cubana de Aviacion crashed into a street and empty lot at the end of the runway at the Quito international airport.

Airport officials said there were 76 passengers and six crew members on board.

Reports varied on whether the plane was taking off for Havana or landing.

``There must be many dead, but there are also survivors. I pulled one person out alive,″ said civil defense volunteer Hugo Albuja.

Four people also died when the plane struck an auto mechanic’s shop, a local radio station reported.

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