Home LATEST NEWS Explosion in Cuba: the balance sheet rises to 32 dead and 19...

Explosion in Cuba: the balance sheet rises to 32 dead and 19 missing, no other survivors

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The previous toll reported 26 dead, including 4 children and adolescents, but, according to Gloria Bonnin, a provincial Red Cross official, the latest list drawn up by the emergency services brings the number of deaths to 32, in this explosion probably due to a gas leak.

Several dozen injured are still hospitalized.

If no tourists were inside the Saratoga hotel, closed for two years due to the pandemic, workers and employees were preparing for its reopening after work, scheduled for next Tuesday.

employees worked in the building (…), of which 11 are known to have died, 13 are missing, six are hospitalized and the rest managed to get out in time”, “text “:”At the time of the accident, 51 employees were working in the building (…), of whom 11 are known to have died, 13 are missing, six are hospitalized and the rest managed to get out in time”}}”>At the time of the accident, 51 employees were working in the building […], 11 of whom are known to have died so far; 13 are missing, 6 are hospitalized and the rest managed to get out in timeexplained during a press conference Roberto Enriquez Calzadilla, spokesman for the tourist group Gaviota.

Rooms in ruins following the explosion.

The five-star hotel was closed during the pandemic.

Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa

Among the victims is a 29-year-old Spanish tourist who was walking near the hotel, her also Spanish husband being seriously injured. All our affection to the families and to all the victims and injured. All our support also to the Cuban peopleSpanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.

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My daughter works at Saratoga, she’s there [sous les décombres] since yesterday, at eight o’clock in the morning, and since all this time I have not known anything about hertold, tearful, Yaumara Cobas to journalists, explaining that she had not found her daughter either in the morgue or in a hospital.

Searches in the upper floors of the building did not find any bodies or survivors, said a firefighter on the spot. They are now concentrated in the two underground floors, access to which is complicated by the large amount of rubble, noted an AFP journalist.

Canine teams and rescuers carrying tools for detecting possible survivors hope to gain access to the basement, from where a woman had issued a call for help on Friday afternoon.

We must move on, there may still be comrades who are below, alive, and the longer we delay, the less chance they have of staying alive. »

A quote from Ramiro Valdés, deputy prime minister and commander of the 1959 revolution

Located a stone’s throw from the famous Capitol, seat of the National Assembly, the Saratoga is an emblem of Old Havana with its recognizable green facade and its image as a star hotel – it has notably welcomed Mick Jagger, Beyoncé and Madonna.

But on Saturday morning, it displayed its gutted carcass, the first four floors having been blown away by the explosion.

What happened is very regrettable, the destruction, especially the loss of life, and also the injured people, but once again I want to underline the speed with which the population and the institutions mobilized. »

A quote from Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Twitter

Solidarity prevailedadded Mr. Diaz-Canel as many Cubans rushed to donate blood on Friday to help the injured.

Residents of neighboring homes damaged by the blast were evacuated as a precaution to accommodation centers, the television said.

Under construction, the Saratoga hotel had been closed to tourists for two years due to the pandemic.

Only workers and employees were inside preparing for its reopening, scheduled for May 10.

Built in 1880 to house shops, the neoclassical building was transformed into a hotel in 1933 and renovated into a luxury establishment in 2005, classified 5 stars with its 96 rooms, two restaurants and swimming pool on the roof.

The hotel under renovations was due to reopen on May 10.

Rescuers search for survivors in the rubble.

Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa

The first elements indicate that a gas leak during a refueling operation by a tanker truck was the cause of the explosion, which occurred around 11 a.m. on Friday.

On Friday, the United States, Canada, the European Union and Venezuela in particular expressed their condolences to the Cuban authorities.

China is deeply saddened by the loss of life in (this) accident and expresses its sincere condolences to the bereaved families and the injuredChinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Saturday.

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin also conveyed his condolences to his counterpart, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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