27 deaths from explosion at Saratoga hotel

MIAMI, United States. — The health authorities of Havana confirmed this Saturday a total of 27 deaths from the accident last Friday at the Saratoga hotel.

The deceased were 13 males and 14 females, including four minors, a pregnant woman and a Spanish citizen, whose body will be repatriated next week.

Julio Guerra Izquierdo, head of the department of hospital services of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), informed official media that the last confirmed death was that of Odalis Barrera González, a resident of Havana.

The official specified that the victim’s body arrived yesterday afternoon at the Institute of Legal Medicine after being found among the rubble.

According to Guerra Izquierdo, a total of 81 people were injured as a result of the accident, of which 37 remain hospitalized and 17 have already been discharged.

Of those admitted to hospitals, 22 are adults: 12 male (including a Spanish citizen) and 10 female. There are also 15 minor patients: three reported in critical condition, two in serious condition and ten in care.

Update / May 7 (20:00)

The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported this afternoon that the death toll from the explosion at the Saratoga hotel rose to 26, including four children and a pregnant woman.

The deceased were 13 males and 13 females. The death of a Spanish citizen who was visiting the Island is also confirmed.

According to the MINSAP, 46 people remain hospitalized, of which 31 are adults: 17 males and 14 females. Among the hospitalized adults there are seven in critical condition, three in serious condition and 21 in care.

Of the 15 hospitalized minors (eight boys and seven girls), three have been reported as critical, two in serious condition and 10 in care.

Eight people who did not have serious injuries were also discharged today.

List of people killed by explosion at the Saratoga hotel (Image: MINSAP)

Update / May 7 (8:30)

The death toll from the explosion at the Saratoga hotel rose to 25 this Saturday, the coordinator of the Government of Havana, Orestes Llánez, informed the official and accredited media.

The official indicated that most of the identified victims of the incident are from Havana (19) and that deaths are also reported from Holguín (3) and Matanzas (1).

According to Llánez, during the early morning the rescue forces managed to access the basement of the facility, where they are still looking for possible survivors.

Update / May 6, 2022 (20:00)

The number of deaths from the explosion recorded this Friday at the Saratoga hotel rose to 18, Dr. Julio Guerra, Head of the Department of Hospital Services of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), reported at a press conference.

The official indicated that so far a total of 74 people have been registered between injured and deceased due to the incident. Among the 18 victims is a two-year-old boy, whose identity was not revealed by the authorities.

“The bodies are still being identified. In the next few hours, the identity of all the deceased will be revealed,” Guerra told official media on the island.

The director pointed out that among the 56 injured there are 14 minors: three in critical condition, two in serious condition and nine remain in care.

Guerra also specified that at this time 42 people are hospitalized and that 10 adults and three children have undergone surgery for injuries sustained.

In principle, the authorities had reported nine deaths after the explosion that occurred at the Saratoga hotel, a number that increased after the rescue and rescue efforts were deepened.

This afternoon, the provincial director of Health, Emilio Delgado Iznaga, declared that the health system in Havana was fully active and that several citizens were donating blood.

Most of those affected were transferred to the Calixto García and Hermanos Ameijeiras hospitals.

The explosion of the Hotel Saratoga, which occurred on the morning of this May 6, collapsed part of the exterior facade of the building and four floors of the building. It also destroyed cars and buses that were in the vicinity of the hotel. The rest of the construction is at risk of collapsing.

Possible cause of the collapse

So far no details are known of what could have caused the incident, but the authorities speak of a possible gas leak.

According to Cubadebate, Alexis Acosta Silva, mayor of Old Havana, affirms that a liquefied gas bullet was being installed in the hotel. The cook would have smelled gas, checked the connections and discovered that there was a crack in the supply hose.

“That was what caused the explosion. The hotel was closed and only service workers were inside.

The official account of the Cuban Presidency assures that “the investigations continue and everything indicates that the explosion was caused by an accident.”

The reopening of the hotel was scheduled for May 10, after two years closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing News…

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