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  • Antonov AN-26, the Soviet-made plane Cuba

    Antonov AN-26, the Soviet-made plane Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces uses. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The eight victims include military personnel and flight staff, according to Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Eight people, including Cuban military personnel and flight staff, died on Saturday morning when their plane crashed into the Loma de la Pimienta mountain in the western province of Artemisa, Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces said in a statement.

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The aircraft, a twin-engined turboprop Antonov AN-26, had taken off from Playa Baracoa Airport just outside of Havana at 6:38 a.m. local time and later crashed into the mountain just outside of the town of Candelaria. The Revolutionary Armed Forces has not yet confirmed the cause of the plane crash but is currently investigating the incident.

The institution is set to release more information throughout the day.

Earlier reports said that a passenger plane had crashed. A military source, however, later confirmed that the plane was operated by Aerogaviota, an airline belonging to Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces. The airline services Cuban government agencies, such as state-run tourism and oil companies.

Aerogaviota's fleet includes a 39-person Soviet-made AN-26 and a 50-person French-made ATR-42. The majority of Cuban planes were produced in the Soviet Union. Antonov produced the AN-26 between 1969 and 1986 in Kiev.

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