Death toll rises to 25 after Havana hotel explosion

A person is carried away after a powerful explosion at the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, May 6, 2022

The death toll after an explosion that ripped through a luxury hotel in central Havana rose to 25 people, including a Spanish tourist, state television reported Saturday, a day after the powerful explosion caused by a suspected gas leak.

Rescuers were still searching the remains of the prestigious Saratoga Hotel in search of survivors. On Friday, officials had said up to 50 people had been injured in the blast.

“All our love for their families and those of all the victims and injured. Our support also for the Cuban people,” he added.

“It is very regrettable what has happened, the destruction, especially the loss of life, and also the people who were injured, but I want to emphasize once again the speed with which the population and the institutions have mobilized,” tweeted the Cuban president. Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Closed to guests during the renovation, the first four floors of the establishment were gutted during the late morning explosion, sending a cloud of dust and smoke into the air Friday.

The dome of a nearby Baptist church also collapsed.

Roberto Calzadilla of state-owned Gaviota, owner of the hotel, said the explosion happened while a gas tank was being refilled.

The chic Saratoga Hotel has 96 rooms, two bars, two restaurants, a spa and gym.

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Originally published as death toll rises to 25 in Havana hotel explosion

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