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Death toll rises to 32 in Havana hotel explosion

Ditadura castrista descartou que explosão em hotel de luxo tenha sido um atentado

Castro dictatorship ruled out that explosion in luxury hotel was an attack

| Photo: EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa

06211835 06211835The number of deaths in the explosion at the Saratoga hotel, located in Havana, capital of Cuba, has risen to 32 and the wounded to 80, as reported this Saturday (7) by local media outlets.

The state news agency “Prensa Latina” indicated that, according to the head of the Front for the Reestablishment of Family Contacts of the Red Cross, Gloria Bonnin, there are still missing persons, according to the list prepared by the agency.

The Cuban authorities have not released information about the victims. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, in turn, reported that a citizen of the country is among the people killed.

Cuban dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel, who visited the site of the explosion, highlighted that it was an “unfortunate accident” and completely ruled out that it was a “bomb” or an “attack”. ”.

The explosion occurred minutes before 11 hours (local time, Brasília noon), when a tanker Liquefied gas was filling a hotel tank. The most likely thesis is that the tragedy was caused by a leak.

The explosion caused a part of the seven-story building to collapse and the facade of the first three floors to come off, causing tons of rubble to rain down on the sidewalk. The tanker truck was partially buried.

The explosion also generated a large column of white smoke, which was visible in much of the capital.

Firefighters, police and emergency personnel rushed to the scene, taking the injured to several nearby hospitals. A neighboring school was even evacuated.

A group of specialists then started cleaning the area in search of possible victims trapped in the building, in tasks that lasted until the night.

At the same time, and amid great precautionary measures, the damaged tanker, which still had highly flammable liquefied gas inside, was hoisted with a crane and deposited on a large truck. for your transfer.

In the coming days, a technical inspection will be carried out at the building to decide if it can be recovered or if the structural damage justifies its demolition.

06211835 The Saratoga is housed in a neoclassical-style building built in 2005 and which has been a hotel since 1933. Its last restoration took place in 2005, according to official Cuban media.

)06211835With five stars, the hotel is considered one of the most luxurious in the city. The establishment is located on Paseo del Prado, one of the main avenues of Havana Vieja, in the historic center of the Cuban capital.

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