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Cuba disputes Mexican airline finding on deadly May crash

by: - July 18, 2018
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In this May 18, 2018 file photo, Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel, third from left, walks away from the site where a Boeing 737 plummeted into a yuca field just after takeoff with more than 100 passengers on board, in Havana, Cuba. Cuba’s government dismissed on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 accusations from Global Air that human error is to blame for the accident, saying it is too early in the investigation. (Photo: AP)

HAVANA, Cuba (AP) — A finding by a Mexican airline that pilot error was to blame for a deadly passenger jet crash in May was dismissed as premature Tuesday by the Cuban authorities charged with determining the cause of the accident.

An investigative commission said in a statement read on state TV that it has not completed its analysis of “many factors” that could have contributed to the May 18 crash. “For that reason, any assertion about the possible causes that caused the fatal accident is premature.”

Mexican airline Global Air said in a statement Monday that the pilots of the Boeing 737 took off at too steep of an angle before the aircraft crashed near the runway of the international airport in Havana.

The May 18 accident killed 112 people and was one of the worst aviation disasters in Cuban history.

Global Air, which also operates under the name Damojh Airlines, said that it recreated the flight using the black boxes and a simulator as it seeks to restore its operating license in Mexico.

Mexico’s civil aviation authority said it is still conducting its own analysis and has not issued a finding.