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Two Cuban air crash survivors fighting for their lives — doctors

Monday, May 21, 2018

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HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) — Two of the three Cuban women pulled alive from the wreckage of a plane crash that killed 110 people are fighting for their lives in hospital, doctors said today.

"The three patients continue to be in an extremely critical condition, with a high risk of complications," Carlos Alberto Martinez, director of Havana's Calixto Garcia hospital told reporters.

A Boeing 737 leased to national carrier Cubana de Aviacion crashed shortly after taking off from Havana's Jose Marti airport on Friday with 113 passengers and crew aboard.

The Cuban government is investigating the cause of the crash and has so far identified 33 of the dead, some of whom have already been buried. Giving a medical update three days after the disaster, Martinez described the condition of two of the survivors as "unfavourable".

One 23-year-old woman had suffered severe head injuries and severe neurological damage. A second woman, 39, has burns to more than 40 per cent of her body, he said.

Both women also have serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, damage to thoracic and abdominal cavities as well as burns, he said.

They, along with the third 19-year-old survivor, have undergone several surgeries since being pulled from the wreckage of the plane. All three face "a high risk of complications," he said.

Martinez paid tribute to the medical team "that managed to keep them alive for 72 hours" after the accident, but said "the problems they present are of high severity."

The 39-year-old plane, leased from a Mexican company, was on an internal flight to the eastern city of Holguin, where most of the passengers were from.

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