Cuba: At least 22 Dead, 70 Injured after Explosion at Posh Havana Hotel

The luxury hotel was undergoing renovation and the staff was preparing for its reopening when the blast happened.

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At least 22 people were killed and more than 70 injured in a massive explosion that occurred in Havana's luxury Saratoga hotel on Friday, 6 May, the Cuban government said as reported by news agency Al Jazeera.

As per news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), rescuers looked for victims overnight in the remains of the historic five-star hotel which has been known to host celebrities like Rihanna, Madonna, and Beyonce.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s office took to Twitter on Friday afternoon and informed that the cause of the explosion is suspected to be a gas leak.

Diaz-Canel visited the site of explosion as well as as Calixto Garcia hospital where the injured were being treated. He told Reuters,

“In no case was it a bomb or an attack... It’s just a very unfortunate accident.”

Visuals of the dilapidated hotel after the explosion were shared on Twitter.

People Still Missing, Hotel Was Being Renovated 

Several people have been reported missing.

"Search and rescue work continue in the hotel, where it is possible that other people are trapped," Havana Communist Party official Luis Antonio Torres Iribar told AFP.

The luxury hotel was undergoing renovation and the staff was preparing for its reopening when the blast happened.

Rescue teams remove debris from the site of a deadly explosion that destroyed the five-star Hotel Saratoga, in Havana, Cuba.

(Photo: PTI)

The blast has reportedly led to the destruction of the building, blowing out windows and parts of the facade, destroying cars parked outside the hotel, and dome of the Baptist church situated nearby.

The 96-room hotel was undergoing renovation and the hotel staff was preparing for its reopening on Tuesday.

“The workers were… making repairs and doing all the work to open the property and in the morning they were resupplying the gas and it seems some accident caused an explosion,” Roberto Enrique Calzadilla, a representative of the company, reportedly said on state television.

(With inputs from AFP and Al Jazeera.)

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Topics:  Cuba   Blast   Explosion 

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