Huge explosion in Havana hotel, leaving many dead and missing
(CNN) — At least 8 people were killed after a massive explosion rocked central Havana, Cuba, last Friday and destroyed the Saratoga Hotel, according to the island’s government.
In addition, nearly 30 people have been hospitalized, according to authorities.
Earlier, the government indicated that 13 people are missing. “Search and rescue work is continuing at the hotel, where people may still be trapped,” he added.
It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion in the city center. However, the government He indicated on his Twitter account that “Initial investigations indicate that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.”
President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited the site of the explosion and the Hermanos Amigera Hospital, where many of the victims were taken, according to photos published by the Cuban presidency on Twitter.
Witnesses told CNN correspondent Patrick Opman at the scene that there had been a “huge explosion”.
Pictures from the scene show the destroyed facade of at least three floors of the building. Plumes of dust and smoke were also seen rising around the debris on the ground.
Buses and cars outside the hotel were also destroyed.
hotel that It was built in the thirties It has 96 rooms, and it reopened in 2005 after a renovation, according to its website.
Cuban police and firefighters searched the ruins in search of survivors.
Mexico expresses its solidarity with Cuba
Mexico’s foreign minister tweeted his solidarity with the victims in Cuba on Friday, after a massive explosion devastated the Saratoga hotel and nearby vehicles in the capital, Havana, leaving rescuers combing through the rubble for survivors.
“Our solidarity with the victims and those affected, as well as with the people of this beloved and brotherly country,” Marcelo Ebrard wrote on Twitter.
Ebrard confirmed that the visit of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to Cuba in the coming days will take place as scheduled.
With information from Abel Alvarado, Carol Suarez and Jorge Ingels.
News under development…