The burnt-out hull of Cubana de Aviation aircraft that crashed moments after take-off from Quito International Airport, Ecuador. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1998 - A Cubana airliner with 69 passengers aboard crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador, killing most on board. Red Cross officials said 77 bodies were recovered from the crash site near the end of the north runway. The Russian Tupolev 154 aircraft crashed seconds after taking off for Havana, with a stop scheduled in Guayaquil, 275km southeast of the capital. One survivor, Hernan Boada, 22, said the plane struggled to gain altitude, rising a few metres before crashing into a wall near the end of the runway. Sixty-eight of those on board the Cubana plane died along with nine people on the ground.

Other important events

1913 - Pieter Cort Van der Linden becomes prime minister of the Netherlands.

1935 - Queen Astrid of Belgium is killed in an accident.

1949 - The Soviet Union successfully detonates its first atomic bomb code named ‘First Lightning’.

1960 - Jordan’s Premier Hazza Al Majali is assassinated.

1991 - The Soviet parliament suspends all activities of the Communist Party ending the 75-year control of the Soviet Union.

1994 - Palestinians of the West Bank are given control over civilian government.

1999 - East Timorese vote in a historic referendum on independence from Indonesia.

2003 - A car bomb kills at least 82 outside a Shiite shrine 
in the Iraqi city of Najaf.

2007 - Nelson Mandela’s statue is unveiled opposite the Houses of Parliament in London.

2017 - Nuclear-armed North Korea fires a ballistic missile over Japan and the Pacific Ocean.