Saratoga: Four dead and 13 injured in an explosion at a luxury hotel in downtown Havana | International

Four people have died and another 13 have been injured after a strong explosion at the Saratoga hotel, in the center of Havana (Cuba). The explosion occurred around 10:50 a.m. [16.50, hora de Madrid] and has caused the collapse of part of the building and the destruction of several cars and buses. According to Cuban television, the explosion was caused by a gas leak in the empty building that was refurbished for its reopening, scheduled for the next day 10. In front of the Capitol of the Cuban capital, the hotel is located in a tourist area and with great movement, surrounded by shops and with some schools nearby.

Local media report damage to a nearby residential building and school. Members of the emergency services and the president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, have traveled to the area.

The ground floor, the first and second floors of the six-storey building have been seriously affected by the explosion, which has knocked down the façade, causing a shower of rubble on the street. The mountain of debris on the sidewalk exceeds the height of a person. The upper floors have also suffered damage. Emergency teams, firefighters and soldiers have traveled to the scene. Many onlookers have gathered around the building.

The Saratoga is housed in a neoclassical-style building built in 1880 and operating as a hotel since 1933. Closed for two years due to the pandemic, the hotel was preparing to reopen after a refurbishment. With five stars, the Saratoga was considered one of the most luxurious in the city. The establishment is located in the Paseo del Prado, one of the main avenues of Old Havana, in the historic center of the Cuban capital.

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