Shocking news coming from Havana, Cuba this Friday as a massive explosion has destroyed the Hotel Saratoga, killing at least nine people and injuring over 30. At this time, police and fire rescue teams are searching through rubble for survivors.
Explosion across from Capitol
Numerous social media posts have indicated that the explosion occurred shortly before 11:00 a.m. with the cause thought to have been an unexpected gas leak. The once prestigious hotel is actually conveniently directly across the street from Cuba’s Capitol Building. Currently, rescuers continue searching for survivors.
It appears that Cuban press is confirming the likely cause to be a gas leak due to “a gas company was servicing the hotel at the time of the blast.” Although given the location of the explosion, some speculate whether the blast was politically strategic.
Witnesses described seeing a massive blast that took out a portion of the building in addition to various vehicles on the street in close proximity. It seems that at the very least, three floors of the hotel were left to ruin.
The Saratoga is described as a historically famous location, given it’s location within the heart of Havana in addition to the raving five-star reviews the hotel is known for. The French Neoclassical design, complete with wrought iron balconies looks great in the iconic Havana Art Deco paint scheme.
Rescue workers quickly arrived at the scene of the explosion and transported patients to nearby clinics to be treated for injuries. Continued information regarding the blast is only beginning to trickle back. So far, local news has reported that the school right next to the Saratoga was evacuated following the blast. Additionally, videos have begun to go viral of the accident scene, with one clip showing people pulling an unconscious victim from the debris.