The accidental explosion, which blew four floors of the Saratoga Hotel last Friday, caused the death of 31 people, according to the report drawn up this Sunday by the Ministry of Public Health. Authorities have been searching since Sunday morning for bodies under the rubble of Havana’s iconic hotel.
The death toll from the accidental explosion that ripped through the Saratoga hotel in Havana rose to 31 on Sunday, the public health ministry said. A previous report put the death toll at 30. Twenty-four people were hospitalized, according to the same source. Firefighters and rescuers had been working since early Sunday morning searching for bodies under the rubble of the building in Old Havana.
A few days before the reopening
Of the dead, 16 are men and 14 are women, including four minors, a pregnant woman and a 29-year-old Spanish tourist whose husband was also injured in the blast that partially destroyed the luxury hotel, which was under renovation. Among the 24 people hospitalized, seven are declared in critical condition, six in serious condition and 11 less severely affected.
The iconic hotel had been closed for two years due to the pandemic and was preparing to reopen to the public on May 10. According to the Ministry of Tourism on Saturday, 51 workers were inside when the explosion occurred, apparently caused by a gas leak as the hotel was supplied by a tanker truck. The first four floors of the 5-star hotel were destroyed.
The Saratoga is known for hosting several celebrities in recent years, including Mick Jagger, Beyoncé and Madonna. Built in 1880 to house shops, the building was transformed into a hotel in 1933 and became a luxury establishment in 2005.