The Barbados Coast Guard has recovered some of the bodies from the wreckage of a Cuban DC-8 airliner which exploded and plunged into the Caribbean sea a few minutes after take-off from Seawall airport on the south of the island.
GV PAN: small craft surrounding wreckage of crashed aircraft in sea.
SV PAN: bodies being taken from boat to jetty. (3 shots)
SV: medical team looking at bodies.
SV PULL BACK TO GV AND PAN ALONG badly-mutilated bodies.
CU PULL Back to GV: boat with bodies.
SV: Coast guard launch with stretchers aboard.
SV: bodies being carried along jetty on stretchers and loaded into back of car. (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK TO GV: coastguardmen clearing blankets off deck of vessel.
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Background: The Barbados Coast Guard has recovered some of the bodies from the wreckage of a Cuban DC-8 airliner which exploded and plunged into the Caribbean sea a few minutes after take-off from Seawall airport on the south of the island.
SYNOPSIS: Shortly after the crash, a flotilla of small boats, led by Coast Guard launches, set out in search of survivors. But all they found was a spreading patch of oil, some floating debris and the occasional badly-mutilated body which they took ashore at the Harbour Police pier in Bridgetown. Officials investigating the crash said they suspected that the aircraft might have been sabotaged. Their suspicion tied in with an anonymous phone call to a Miami newspaper that a bomb was put on board the plane by Cuban exiles. The sabotage theory was further supported by reports of an in-flight explosion. The plane was on its way from Guyana to Cuba via Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica. Shortly after take-off from Barbados, the Captain. a Cuban, radioed that he was in difficulty. According to the Seawall Control Tower, he was apparently trying to return to Barbados when the aircraft plunged into 900 feet (270 metres) of water, three and a half miles (5.5kms) off the coast of the island.
It was almost three hours after the crash when the first badly-mutilated bodies were brought ashore. The plane was carrying 62 Cubans of whom 23 were crew members. 11 Guyanese and five North Koreans. The victims included the Cuban fencing team which was returning home from the Caribbean youth championships in Caracas where it won all eight gold medals.