An explosion rocked a well-known luxury hotel in Havana, Cuba, on Friday May 6, killing at least 26 people, including a pregnant woman and a child, and injuring at least 74 people.
The explosion at Hotel Saratoga in downtown Havana appeared to have been caused by a gas leak from a truck that had been supplying natural gas to the hotel, according to local media, AP reported.
Photos and videos showed that much of the exterior of the hotel, housed in a century-old building, had been blown out, with deformed cars and damaged buildings nearby covered in smoke and dust.
Authorities said no tourists had been staying at the 96-room, five-star Hotel Saratoga in downtown Havana as it had been undergoing renovations and had been scheduled to reopen next Tuesday May 10.
Health authorities said the blast rattled a school with 300 students that was nearby. Authorities said that five students had suffered minor injuries, AP reported.
Cuba’s national health minister told AP that the number of injuries could still rise as search and rescue efforts continue for those who may still be trapped in the rubble.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the hotel soon after the blast, tweeting that the incident had not been a bomb or an attack but a “tragic accident.”