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updated 1/17/2012 6:34:20 PM ET 2012-01-17T23:34:20

Investigators from France and dental surgeons from Argentina were working with Cuban officials Thursday to determine the cause of last week's plane crash and help identify the dead, as one victim's family said it is desperate to recover his body and give him a proper burial.

All 68 people aboard AeroCaribbean Flight 883 were killed Nov. 4 when the turboprop plane reported an emergency and plummeted to the ground. Twenty-eight foreigners were among the dead, including nine Argentines, seven Mexicans, and citizens of Germany, Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Venezuela, Japan and Australia.

David de la Hera Gonzalez, a nephew of Spanish victim Manuel Gonzalez, said he arrived in Cuba on Tuesday and had gone twice to the medical examiner's office, where the bodies are being held pending identification. Doctors told him they were awaiting DNA samples from the man's mother, he said.

"We are desperate," de la Hera Gonzalez told The Associated Press. "The family is suffering, as are all the other relatives of those killed. Our only wish is that they identify the body so we can bury him."

He said Cuban authorities were extremely helpful in arranging his trip and called to check up on him several times a day since he arrived.

"They are very humane and respectful," he said.

Javier Figueroa, an official at the Argentine Embassy, said a team of Argentine dental surgeons have been working with Cuban authorities at the medical examiner's office in Havana since a few days after the crash, and that a flight carrying family members of the victims is still in the works.

Cuba's government and state-run media have provided precious little information about the investigation, saying only that an all-Cuban commission has been set up to lead the probe.

The plane went down in rugged terrain near the village of Guasimal in Sancti Spiritus province, about 220 miles (350 kilometers) east of Havana. It had been on its way to the capital from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the plane make a series of herky-jerky movements as it fell to earth. A large piece of one wing and some of the fuselage were more or less intact, but most of the plane was reduced to small pieces.

An official with Toulouse, France-based plane-maker ATR told AP on Thursday that the company's team of three investigators has been in Cuba since Tuesday to assist.

The official, who declined to give his name in accordance with company policy, said it was not immediately clear how long the investigators would remain on the island. He said such investigations usually take between days and weeks.

Cuban authorities are cooperating with the investigators, he said.

___

Associated Press reporters Jenny Barchfield in Paris and Anne-Marie Garcia in Havana contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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