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Havana hotel death toll rises to 30; dogs search for survivors

Dog search teams were searching the ruins of a luxury hotel in the Cuban capital on Sunday for gas survivors and officials put the death toll at 30. Hotel Saratoga, a 96-room five-star hotel in Old Havana. was about to reopen after being closed for two years when an apparent gas leak caused a huge explosion on Friday. Cuban officials on Sunday raised the death toll to 30 from 27, as crews continued to search for victims of the blast that cut the exterior walls of the building and damaged several nearby structures, including the historic Marti Theater and of the Calvary Baptist Church, the seat of the dogma in western Cuba. The health ministry said 84 people were injured. The dead included four minors, a pregnant woman and a Spanish tourist, whose partner was seriously injured. About 24 people remained in hospital, according to the health ministry. On Saturday, a spokesman for Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, which owns the hotel, said 13 of its workers were missing. Governor Reinaldo Garcίαa Zapata said on Saturday night that 19 families had reported that their loved ones were missing and that rescue efforts would continue. Authorities say the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but believe it was caused by a gas leak. A large crane lifted a charcoal tanker out of the rubble on Saturday. The explosion is another blow to the country’s critical tourism industry. The crews worked hard to clear the surrounding streets and by late Saturday, heavy pedestrian traffic had resumed. Some nearby buildings were also severely damaged by the blast, which shattered windows and cracked walls. Even before the coronavirus epidemic kept tourists away from Cuba, the country faced tougher sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump and held the Biden administration. These limited visits of American tourists to the islands and the limited remittances from Cubans to the US to their families in Cuba. Tourism had begun to revive somewhat earlier this year, but the war in Ukraine deflated an explosion of Russian visitors, who accounted for almost a third of the tourists who arrived in Cuba last year. The focus began on an official visit by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who arrived in the capital on Saturday night. López Obrador was completing a tour of five countries that began in Central America. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited Mexico during Independence Day celebrations last year. López Obrador recently spoke out against the apparent intention of the US government to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the US Summit to be held in Los Angeles in June.

Dog search teams were searching the rubble of a luxury hotel in the Cuban capital on Sunday for gas survivors, and officials put the death toll at 30.

Hotel Saratoga, a 96-room five-star hotel in Old Havana, was preparing to reopen after being closed for two years when an apparent gas leak caused a huge explosion on Friday.

Cuban officials raised the death toll to 30 from 27, as crews continued to search for victims of the blast that cut external walls from the building and damaged several nearby structures, including the historic Marti Theater and the Calvary Baptist Church. of headquarters. for the name in western Cuba.

The health ministry said 84 people were injured. Among the dead were four minors, a pregnant woman and a Spanish tourist, whose attendant was seriously injured.

About 24 people remained in hospital, according to the health ministry.

On Saturday, a spokesman for Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, which owns the hotel, said 13 of its workers were still missing. Governor Reynaldo Garcίαa Zapata said Saturday night that 19 families had said their loved ones were missing and that rescue efforts would continue.

Authorities say the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but believe it was caused by a gas leak. A large crane lifted a tanker with charred natural gas out of the rubble on Saturday.

The explosion is another blow to the country’s critical tourism industry.

The crews worked hard to clear the surrounding streets and by late Saturday, heavy pedestrian traffic had resumed. Some nearby buildings were also badly damaged by the blast, which shattered windows and cracked walls.

Even before the coronavirus epidemic kept tourists away from Cuba, the country struggled with tougher sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump and held the Biden administration in place. These limited visits of American tourists to the islands and the limited remittances from Cubans to the US to their families in Cuba.

AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa

People are watching the rescue effort at the site of the deadly explosion that destroyed the five-star Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba.

Tourism had begun to revive somewhat earlier this year, but the war in Ukraine deflated the explosion of Russian visitors, who accounted for almost a third of tourists arriving in Cuba last year.

Attention began to turn to the official visit of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who arrived in the capital on Saturday night. López Obrador was completing a tour of five countries that began in Central America.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited Mexico during Independence Day celebrations last year. López Obrador recently spoke out against the apparent intention of the US government to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the US Summit to be held in Los Angeles in June.

Havana hotel death toll rises to 30; dogs search for survivors Source link Havana hotel death toll rises to 30; dogs search for survivors

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