At Least 30 Killed in Hotel Explosion in Cuba

At least 30 people died after an explosion at a historic five-star hotel in Havana, the Cuban Health Ministry said on May 8.

The Cuban Health Ministry added that at least 24 remain hospitalized after Hotel Saratoga collapsed following an explosion on May 6.

Cuban state media reported on May 7 that 32 were dead while the Cuban presidency placed the death toll at 26. It is not clear what caused the discrepancy, CNN reported.

According to state-run company Gaviota, which manages the hotel, 11 workers died while 13 remain missing.

Tourism Minister Juan Carlos Garcia said that the hotel was preparing to reopen on May 10 when the blast occurred.

The Cuban Presidential Office said that preliminary data showed that a child and a pregnant woman were among those who died.

A Cuban American woman was among the injured, Ministry of Tourism spokesperson Dalila Alba González said.

The Cuban Presidential Office added that 64 people, including 14 minors, had been taken to hospitals for their injuries.

Earlier, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said 40 people were injured.

According to Cuban state television, potential survivors remained trapped in the basement of the collapsed hotel.

Rescue workers continued searching for survivors and bodies on May 8.

Diaz-Canel said that the blast was an “accidental explosion of a gas tank.”

Diaz-Canel visited the site of the blast and the hospitals where some of the victims had been taken.

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