a Explosion Cause on Friday Collapse From the Saratoga Hotel near the National Capitol, the seat of the Cuban Parliament in Havana. The Cuban authorities confirmed that the initial number of victims of the explosion, which was recorded on Friday at the Saratoga hotel in Havana, is at least 22 dead, 13 missing and about 60 in hospital.
And the Cuban presidency published the number of victims via Twitter. Likewise, it reported, “Initial investigations indicate that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.”
President Miguel Diaz-Canel attended the scene together with Prime Minister Manuel Marrero and the leader of the National Council of Popular Power, Esteban Lazo.
Children from a nearby school were evacuated unharmed, according to Cuban Communist Party authorities.
The explosion occurred at about 10:50 a.m. (14:50 GMT) and caused part of the building’s facade to collapse. After the explosion, a fire also broke out which caused a large column of white smoke, visible from most parts of the city.
The ground floor, first and second floors of the six-storey building were seriously damaged by the explosion, which brought down the facade, causing debris to fall into the street. A mountain of debris on the sidewalk exceeded the height of a human. The upper floors were also damaged.
Emergency teams, firefighters and soldiers moved to the scene. Many spectators also gathered around the building.
Saratoga is located in a neoclassical building built in 1880 and has been serving as a hotel since 1933. According to official media, its last restoration took place in 2005.
The five-star hotel is considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the city.
The institution is located on Paseo del Prado, one of the main roads of Old Havana, in the historical center of the Cuban capital.