Update: Firefighters search rubble after blast of Cuba’s Saratoga hotel

Rescue work continues at the destroyed Saratoga hotel, in Havana, Cuba, 08 May 2022. The health authorities raised the number of deaths to 30 in the explosion caused by a gas leak

Firefighters are searching the rubble of the Saratoga Hotel in the Cuban capital, Havana, after a huge blast ripped through the building on Friday.

At least 35 people were killed in the explosion, which is thought to have been caused by a gas tanker parked outside the hotel.

The Saratoga is one of Cuba’s most exclusive five-star hotels. The local mayor said that the search would continue until all victims had been located.

On Monday, rescue workers said that they had found four more bodies in the rubble.

The 19th-Century hotel in Havana’s old town had been closed for renovations and most of the victims were construction workers and staff.

State TV said there was hope that some people could have survived the blast in the building’s basement but officials said they feared there could also be more bodies among the ruins.

Four children, a pregnant woman and a 29-year-old Spanish tourist who was walking past the building are among the victims.

Scores were also injured and 24 remained in hospital on Sunday.

The first four floors of the landmark were completely gutted and its façade was blown off.

Emergency personnel with sniffer dogs prepare to search for survivors at the Saratoga Hotel two days after it suffered an explosion, in Havana, Cuba May 8, 2022
Sniffer dogs have been deployed in the hope of finding survivors in the building’s basement

The explosion happened in the late morning on Friday local time. An official said the incident occurred while a gas tank was being refilled by a tanker lorry.

Locals said the force of the blast was such that they thought it was an earthquake.

The hotel, which in the past has hosted celebrities such as Madonna, Beyoncé and Mick Jagger, had been due to reopen this week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s