Saturday May 07, 2022

VIDEO: Cuba luxury hotel explosion kills 22, injures dozens

VIDEO: Cuba luxury hotel explosion kills 22, injures dozens

Firefighters remove debris from the ruins of the Saratoga Hotel, in Havana, Cuba, on Friday. AFP

A powerful explosion apparently caused by a natural gas leak killed at least 22 people, including a child, and injured dozens on Friday when it blew away outer walls from a luxury hotel in the heart of Cuba’s capital.

No tourists were staying at Havana's 96-room Hotel Saratoga because it was undergoing renovations, Havana Gov. Reinaldo García Zapata told the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

"It's not a bomb or an attack. It is a tragic accident,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who visited the site, said in a tweet.


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Dr. Julio Guerra Izquierdo, chief of hospital services at the Ministry of Health, told reporters that at least 74 people had been injured. Among them were 14 children, according to a tweet from Díaz-Canel's office.

Díaz-Canel said families in buildings near the hotel affected by the explosion had been transferred to safer locations.

Cuban state TV reported the explosion was caused by a truck that had been supplying natural gas to the hotel, but did not provide details on how the gas ignited. A white tanker truck was seen being removed from the site as rescue workers hosed it down with water.