State television said the explosion at Havana’s Hotel Saratoga was “not a terrorist attack,” adding that the hotel was closed and only workers were in the hotel at the time
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At least 22 people have been killed and more than 70 injured in a massive explosion at a popular hotel in Havana, Cuba.
The explosion at the well-known Hotel Saratoga was apparently triggered by a gas leak, according to Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
President Diaz-Canel also ruled out any speculation on Cuban television at the scene of the disaster that the disaster was caused by a bomb or an attack.
The blast tore a gash in the side of the building several stories up.
State television said the blast was “not a terrorist attack,” adding that the hotel was closed and only workers were inside at the time of the blast, citing Roberto Enrique Calzadilla, a representative of the military-run company that many who operates hotels in the country .
AFP via Getty Images)
In a radio interview, Calzadilla said the 96-room hotel is set to reopen in the next few days and that workers at the site are making final preparations. He also pointed to a gas leak as a possible cause of the tragedy.
“The workers were … making repairs and doing all the work to open the property and in the morning they refilled the gas and it appears an accident caused an explosion,” he said.
According to the Health Ministry, a child from a nearby school had died late Friday night and at least 15 others were injured in the blast.
Juan Carlos Garcia, the country’s tourism minister, said no foreigners were killed or injured in the blast, according to initial reports.
While search and rescue efforts continued, it was unclear if there were any other victims trapped in the rubble.
Cubans rescued some of the people left under the rubble minutes after the blast when videos emerged of locals trying to rescue the wounded.
Images from the scene showed the blasted facade as clouds of dust and smoke rose around the debris on the ground.
Photos by Granma, the Communist Party’s official daily newspaper, showed pictures of the hotel with what appeared to be walls blown up.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/gas-leak-blamed-explosion-cuban-26898933 Gas leak blamed for explosion in Cuban hotel that killed 22 - World News