26 dead in apparent gas explosion at hotel in Cuba

Dozens of others were injured in the blast.

May 07, 2022, 4:42 PM

At least 26 people are dead, including four minors, from an explosion at a hotel in Havana, Cuba, apparently caused by a gas leak, officials said.

Search and rescue work continues to see if people are trapped, according to Luis Antonio Torres Iribar, first secretary of the Party in Havana.

The president's office said Saturday afternoon that 46 people remain hospitalized, including 15 minors.

PHOTO: Debris is scattered after an explosion destroyed the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana, Cuba May 6, 2022.
Debris is scattered after an explosion destroyed the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana, Cuba May 6, 2022.
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel was at the scene of the Saratoga Hotel in Havana with other officials on Friday and Saturday.

"It wasn't a bomb or an attack, it's an unfortunate accident," Diaz-Canel said, in Spanish, of the explosion.

The hotel, a popular tourist destination in the capital city, had been closed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its Facebook page. It was currently working to get ready to reopen on May 10.

The five-story building is located in the Old Havana neighborhood and was remodeled as a hotel in the 1930s. It is located just across the street from Cuba's National Capitol building.

PHOTO: Rescue teams work at a site after an explosion destroyed the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana, Cuba May 6, 2022.
Rescue teams work at a site after an explosion destroyed the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana, Cuba May 6, 2022.
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Authorities said a nearby school was evacuated and no children were harmed.

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