Cuba Explosion Tears Through Havana’s Hotel Saratoga

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Cuba’s iconic Hotel Saratoga in Havana suffered a large explosion on Friday.



Photo:

ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI/REUTERS

A large explosion tore through an iconic hotel in downtown Havana on Friday, prompting rescue workers to rush to the scene to search for any victims or survivors trapped under the rubble.

Cuban President

Miguel Díaz-Canel

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went to the site to assess the damage firsthand and talk with rescue workers, his office said on its official Twitter account. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Rescuers work were on the scene Friday in downtown Havana after an explosion severely damaged the Hotel Saratoga.



Photo:

adalberto roque/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Photographs and videos posted on social media showed smoke rising from the blown-out shell of the five-story neoclassical Hotel Saratoga, which sits across from the government’s Capitolio, Cuba’s old congressional building modeled after the U.S. Capitol.

The Saratoga had been renovated in recent years as Cuba sought to attract tourists as part of its attempt to reshape its economy.

Videos on social media showed a huge plume of smoke that had risen over the city. Debris littered the street, covering parked vehicles. Preliminary reports blamed a gas explosion.

Write to José de Córdoba at [email protected]

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