As it happenedended1651881331

Cuba explosion: Death toll in Hotel Saratoga blast rises to 18 including pregnant woman and child

Bomb-like sound reported in area

Eight dead after major explosion at Cuban hotel

A large explosion has torn through several floors of a hotel in the Cuban capital of Havana.

Authorities say that 18 people, including a pregnant woman and child, were killed in the blast, which is thought to have been caused by a gas leak at The Hotel Saratoga.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, speaking from the scene of the disaster on Cuban television, said the explosion at the Hotel Saratoga had not been caused by a bomb.

Mr Díaz-Canel says that 50 adults and 14 children were hospitalized after the blast.

Cuban state TV reported that the blast was caused by a truck that had been supplying natural gas to the hotel, but did not elaborate on how the gas ignited.

Witnesses told CNN they heard a “massive blast” that also destroyed cars and buses outside the historic building. Pictures from the scene show at least three floors of the hotel have been destroyed by the explosion.

The building the hotel is now in was constructed in 1880 as warehouses before being converted in 1933 to a hotel. It has 96 rooms and was reopened in 2005 after a refurbishment, according to its website.

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Dramatic pictures and videos of explosion emerge

The front of the historic hotel appears to have ben completely destoryed in the blast.

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Rescuers sift through rubble at hotel

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Scenes from hotel explosion in Havana

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Aftermath of hotel explosion

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Four dead and 19 injured in explosion,. report says

Four people died and 19 others were injured in an explosion at a Havana hotel, according to a report.

Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, said initial investigations into the blast at the Hotel Saratoga pointed to a gas leak being the cause of the explosion, Cuban state media said.

Mr Díaz-Canel ruled out a boming but added that the investigation was ongoing, according to Reuters.

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Mexico’s foreign minister expresses solidarity with victims

“Our solidarity to the victims and those affected as well as the people of that dear fraternal nation,” Marcelo Ebrard tweeted.

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Death toll in hotel explosion rises to eight

The blast that destroyed large sections of the outer wall at the Hotel Saratoga in Old Havana, was caused by a gas leak, according to the Twitter account of the office of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

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Hotel workers were ‘resupplying gas’ when explosion happened

Roberto Enrique Calzadilla, a spokesperson for the military-run company in charge of many of Cuba’s hotels, said the explosion as final preparatiosn for reopening after the pandemic were taking place.

“The workers were ... making repairs and doing all the work to open the property and in the morning they were resupplying the gas and it seems some accident caused an explosion,” he told the country’s state television.

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Major explosion rips through several floors of hotel in Cuba

ICYMI: A large explosion has torn through several floors of a hotel in the Cuban capital of Havana.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

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What did hotel look like before blast?

ICYMI: The building the hotel is now in was constructed in 1880 as warehouses before being convertedin 1933 to a hotel.

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