Havana Explosion: Deaths Increase to 18 and Dozens Injured After Hotel Bombing

Havana Explosion: Deaths Increase to 18 and Dozens Injured After Hotel Bombing

According to new official data, more than 50 people were injured in a suspicion of a gas leak and 18 people were killed in a big explosion at a five-star hotel in central Havana on Friday.

Ambulances took the injured to the hospital and rescuers treated patients with mild illness on the spot, so the ambulance looked for survivors in what remained at the prestigious Saratoga Hotel.

“Unfortunately 18 people have died,” Julio Gera, director of hospital services at the Ministry of Health, said at a news conference, increasing the number of casualties from nine earlier that day.

The ministry and the President of Cuba said dozens were injured in the blast, citing different numbers ranging from about 50 to 65.

The first four floors of the facility, which was unoccupied during the renovation, were completely destroyed by a late-night blast swirling in the air with dust and smoke clouds.