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CUBAN JET SKIDS OFF RUNWAY; 26 DIE

A Cuban charter jet skidded off a rain-slicked runway on landing Tuesday and crashed into a working-class neighborhood. At least 26 people were killed, nine of them on the ground, authorities said.

The Cubana de Aviacion DC-10 jet was carrying 314 people, including 18 crew members, when it crashed. Most of the passengers were Guatemalan students at the Latin American Medical Sciences School in Havana who were returning home for Christmas.

Authorities were trying to determine if the pilot overshot the runway, air traffic director Mario Grajeda said at a news conference. He said the aircraft's black boxes were retrieved and were being examined.

Eight of the victims were crew members and nine were passengers, said Oscar Bonilla, the Guatemala City fire chief. The rest died in the neighborhood at the edge of Guatemala City's La Aurora international airport.

The crash destroyed two homes and damaged several others.

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