The death toll after the explosion last Friday at the Saratoga hotel in Havana rose to 43, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported on Tuesday.

According to the updated government report, 17 people remain hospitalized, of which six are in serious condition and two are in critical condition.

The total number of injuries from the blast rose to 97, one more than in the morning report, as well as one additional death. Also, a total of 37 people have been discharged.

All the dead so far are of Cuban nationality, with the exception of a Spanish national, as well as one of the wounded.

Employees of the rescue service work around the clock to find more people in the rubble of the establishment, which according to the first information from the authorities exploded after a leak of liquefied gas.

The head of the Cuban Fire Department, Colonel Luis Guzmán, reported that at least three hotel workers are still missing.

“The search is focused on the kitchen and dining room areas in high-risk conditions, so rescuers and firefighters are also protected,” Guzmán said, according to the state-run Agencia Cubana de Noticias news agency.

Regarding how long the operation could take, Guzmán pointed out that an estimated time cannot be offered.

“We want it to be as fast as possible, but we cannot violate what is established, with the security measures, by making a hasty decision,” reported the state media Cubadebate.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the scene of the event today to supervise the rescue efforts.

The hotel was not operational at the time of the explosion, but 51 workers were inside preparing it for the reopening, scheduled for this Wednesday.

The Saratoga was built in 1880 and from 1911 it functioned as a hotel. Its last restoration was carried out in 2005, when the building was reformed in depth.

This five-star luxury accommodation is located on the iconic Paseo del Prado avenue, in the historic center of the Cuban capital, the area most visited by tourists who come to the island.

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https://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2022/05/11/627afe1efdddff16338b45ad.html

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