HAVANA (AFP) A Cuban airliner on a flight to Havana crashed in central Cuba, killing all 68 people on board including 28 foreigners, officials said Friday via state media. The plane operated by state-run Aerocaribbean fell to the ground in the region of Guasimal, after the pilot reported an emergency, according to a statement by Cubas Civil Aeronautics Institute read on state television. There were no survivors from the flight which departed Thursday afternoon from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba bound for the capital, the official website Cubadebate.cu reported. It was the Communist-ruled islands worst air disaster in 21 years. Among the passengers were 10 Europeans, nine Argentinians, seven Mexicans, one Venezuelan and one Japanese, state media reported. The Europeans included three Dutch, two Germans, two Austrians, and one each from France, Italy and Spain. There were 40 Cubans on board, including seven crew, and the names of all victims were published on the Cubadebate website. One local resident who witnessed the crash said the plane made several abrupt movements before crashing to the ground, local newspaper Escambray reported. Emergency rescue teams from Sancti Spiritus province where the plane went down, aided by local residents, scrambled to get to the crash site. Hampered by thick vegetation in the mountainous region, they reached it overnight, and found the wreckage in flames. The plane had left Santiago de Cuba, in the islands far east, ahead of the approach of Tropical Storm Tomas, which intensified to hurricane status Friday as it lashed both Cuba and Haiti. The twin turbo-propeller ATR-72-212, built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional, lost contact with aviation authorities around 5:42 pm (2242 GMT) and crashed some 300 kilometres southeast of Havana, officials said. The Civil Aeronautics Institute did not say if foul weather was a factor in the crash. A tropical storm warning was in effect Thursday in Santiago de Cuba province where the plane took off. The storm had already begun to drench eastern Cuba with rain earlier Thursday, and on the same day Cubana Airlines, another state carrier, cancelled all flights in and out of Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo. Many of the foreigners on board the doomed flight were believed to be tourists, and the accident is bad news for the industry. Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner in Cuba, bringing in some two billion dollars annually.