On Tuesday, Cuba’s Health Ministry (MINSAP) confirmed that the number of deaths from the explosion at the Saratoga hotel amounts to 42 and the number of injured is 96.
Seventeen injured remain hospitalized, including 7 people in critical condition and 2 citizens in serious condition. Over the last few hours, however, 37 people have been discharged.
The Fire Department Director Colonel Luis Guzman announced that at least three hotel workers are still missing. «The search is focused on high risk areas such as the kitchen and dining room. So rescuers and firefighters are also protected,» he pointed out.
Hopes of finding survivors in the rubble, however, are diminishing as time goes by. Cuban authorities have reiterated that they will not stop searching until all the people disappeared are found. Most of the deceased are Cubans, except for a young Spanish tourist.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s administration has reiterated that the cause of the accident was a leak when a liquefied gas tanker truck was recharging a tank at the establishment.
Although the hotel was not operational at the time of the accident, 51 workers were inside getting it ready for its reopening, which was expected to happen on Wednesday, May 11.
Built in 1880, the Saratoga building had been operating as a hotel since 1911. This five-star luxury accommodation is located on the Paseo del Prado avenue, in downtown Havana, the area most visited by tourists who come to Cuba.