Explosion at hotel in Havana causes massive destruction, rescue operation underway

The hotel which was currently under renovation suffered massive damage due to the explosion, Cuban authorities have reported that at least eight people have confirmed dead and there are over two dozen injured

May 06, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Explosion at Hotel Saratoga. (Photo: Luis De Jesús)

A massive explosion took place at Hotel Saratoga in Havana, Cuba at 10:50 am local time. The explosion, which is suspected to be a result of a gas leak, heavily damaged the hotel in Old Havana, a block away from the Capitolio. According to reports by Cuban Health Minister Emilio Delgado Iznaga, as of 12:45 pm local time, eight deaths were reported and at least 30 people were hospitalized with injuries.

Firefighters and health authorities are leading a rescue operation at the site of the explosion to clear the rubble and search for the 13 people who are reportedly missing. Hospitals in the area have called for people to donate blood in order to help the injured.

Dozens of people have arrived to the El Vedado Blood Bank to support those wounded from the explosion.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who has been at the scene since the explosion occurred, told the press that “It was not a bomb or an attack, it is an unfortunate accident.” Diaz-Canel also visited the hospital where many of the injured are receiving medical attention and gave the assurance that “our hospitals are working to attend to the injured and the rescue efforts will continue.”

Official reports stated that no guests were staying at the historic hotel which was under renovation. In 2016, the five-star hotel hosted several American personalities and business executives during the period of normalization of relations.