Twenty evangelical pastors from the Church of the Nazarene were among more than 100 people killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed outside of Havana on Friday.
“On that plane were 10 couples of pastors. 20 people.
All of the Nazarene Church in the eastern region,” confirmed Maite Quesada, a member the Cuban Council of Churches.
The group spent several days at a meeting in the capital and were returning to their homes and places of worship in the province of Holguin.
On Saturday afternoon, the AP cited Cuba’s Transportation Minister Adel Yzquierdo as saying that 110 people were killed in the accident. The minister said authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.
Three women survived the crash, but they were in critical condition, suffering burns and other trauma, the director of the hospital in Havana where they were being treated. Calixto Garcia Hospital director Carlos Alberto Martinez said that doctors are always hopeful that their patients will recover, but acknowledged that the women are very seriously injured.
The Cuban plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Havana airport and is the worst in Cuba in nearly 30 years. Six crew members and a baby were also on board the flight, Cuban TV reported.
“We have the black box in our hands, in good condition,” he said, according to Reuters.
On Saturday, flags flew at half-mast in Cuba, marking the start of two days of national mourning while authorities worked to identify the remains of those who died in the crash.