Hotel Saratoga explosion
HAVANA -Cuban officials said rescue workers are searching for survivors after a massive explosion rocked a luxury hotel in downtown Havana on Friday, killing at least eight people.
Explosion damages hotel in Cuban capital. 8 deaths reported
An apparently powerful explosion caused by a gas leak has destroyed many of the outer walls of a five-star hotel in the heart of the Cuban capital, and officials say at least eight people have died.
But no tourists have been accommodated at the 96-room Saratoga hotel as it is undergoing renovation work.
Passers-by fled the scene as police and rescue workers combed the ruins of the Saratoga Hotel, a five-star hotel in the historic center of Havana.
This 19th-century hotel is located directly across the street from the Cuban Capitol and welcomes high-profile guests.
This is according to Havana Governor Reinaldo García Zapata, speaking to the Communist Party newspaper Granma.
Officials say dozens of people are missing and searchers are searching for anyone trapped.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the explosion was caused by a gas leak, according to a series of updates posted on President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s Twitter account.
Diaz-Canel arrived at the scene shortly after the explosion, and posted the video on social media.
Cudadebate reported that nearby clinics are treating the injured and several ambulances have arrived at the scene. A nearby school was evacuated.
Pictures published by the Cuban news agency ACN and newspaper Granma, the Cuban Communist Party, showed extensive damage to the hotel’s walls and clouds of smoke rising into the sky.
Buses and cars outside the hotel were also destroyed and witnesses said a “massive explosion” occurred, CNN reported.