Havana Hotel Blast Caused by Gas Leak

Translator

Tempo.co

Editor

Laila Afifa

7 May 2022 14:38 WIB

TEMPO.COHavana - A deadly explosion hit a well-known hotel in downtown Havana on Friday, May 6, tearing a gash several floors high in the side of the building, killing at least 22 people and injuring upwards of 70, witnesses and state media said.

Speaking from the scene on Cuban television, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the blast at the historic, high-end Hotel Saratoga appeared to have been caused by a gas leak.

"In no case was it a bomb or an attack," he later told Reuters as he left the capital's Calixto Garcia hospital, where many of the injured were treated. 'It's just a very unfortunate accident."

The blast nonetheless sent a brief wave of panic through the historic old Havana neighborhood, which has gradually begun reopening to tourists after the pandemic battered the Caribbean island's crucial travel sector.

Hundreds of Cubans and tourists alike gathered near the property under a hot sun as police cordoned off the area around the hotel. Many speculated about the cause of the blast as ambulances and rescue workers carried victims from the wreckage.

The explosion rattled a nearby school with more than 300 students in attendance, health authorities said. At least 15 children were reported injured as of late Friday evening, the health ministry said, and one child had died.

Cuba's tourism minister, Juan Carlos Garcia, said no foreigners were killed or injured in the blast, according to initial reports.

The hotel, housed in a more than century-old building, had been closed and only workers were inside at the time of the explosion, state-run TV said, citing Roberto Enrique Calzadilla, a representative of the military-run company that operates many of the country's hotels.

In a broadcast interview, Calzadilla said the 96-room hotel had been set to re-open in the next few days and that the workers on site were making final preparations. He also said a gas leak appeared to be the cause.

"The workers were ... making repairs and doing all the work to open the property and in the morning they were resupplying the gas and it seems some accident caused an explosion," he said.

The blast shrouded the building and surrounding streets in plumes of black smoke and dust rising from the rubble.

Police and rescue workers moved quickly to cordon off some nearby government buildings, including the historic Capitolio, or capital building.

A photo from the scene showed what appeared to be at least one body with a white cloth over it. A block from the blast, a man carried a woman screaming in pain to a clinic, as onlookers begged for information about loved ones.

The neoclassical style Saratoga Hotel was remodeled by a British company after the fall of the Soviet Union and for many years was considered the place to stay by visiting government officials and celebrities.

Recently, it had lost some of its shine with the opening of new hotels in Havana, but was still a five-star venue.

REUTERS

Hotel in Puncak Records Increased Occupancy Rate, Association Says

51 hari lalu

Hotel in Puncak Records Increased Occupancy Rate, Association Says

Most hotels in Puncak have recorded around 60 to 70 percent room occupancy rate during this year's Eid Al-Fitr holiday.


Mudik; Sandiaga Predicts 8% Hike in Hotel Occupancy Rate

26 April 2022

Mudik; Sandiaga Predicts 8% Hike in Hotel Occupancy Rate

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno predicted hotel room occupancy will increase by 8 percent during the Eid homecoming or mudik season


Wealthy Jakartans Urged to Utilize Paid Self-Isolation Facilities

15 Februari 2022

Wealthy Jakartans Urged to Utilize Paid Self-Isolation Facilities

Jakarta BPBD expresses hope for the city's wealthy population to use the services of self-isolation facilities at hotels.


BPS: Jakarta Hotel Industry Starts to Recover

2 Februari 2022

BPS: Jakarta Hotel Industry Starts to Recover

The Jakarta Statics Agency (BPS) notes signs of recovery from the capital's hotel industry after the collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Oil Hit 7-year Highs as Tight Supply Bites

18 Januari 2022

Oil Hit 7-year Highs as Tight Supply Bites

Oil prices on Tuesday, Jan. 18, climbed to their highest since 2014.


Mandalika MotoGP: PHRI Propose Bali Hotels for Tourist Accommodation

6 Januari 2022

Mandalika MotoGP: PHRI Propose Bali Hotels for Tourist Accommodation

PHRI is proposing Bali to help solve the accommodation deficit ahead of the MotoGP race at the Mandalika Circuit.


COVID-19 Task Force Outlines 3 Groups Eligible for Free Quarantine Facility

21 Desember 2021

COVID-19 Task Force Outlines 3 Groups Eligible for Free Quarantine Facility

COVID-19 Task Force underlines that only three groups of people arriving from abroad are allowed to get free quarantine facilities upon arrival.


Covid-19 Task Force Sets Hotel Quarantine Tariff Following Public Outcry

21 Desember 2021

Covid-19 Task Force Sets Hotel Quarantine Tariff Following Public Outcry

The Covid-19 task force has eventually regulated the tariffs of quarantine repatriation hotels for people arriving from overseas.


Police: Explosive at Veronica Koman's House a Type of Firecracker

10 November 2021

Police: Explosive at Veronica Koman's House a Type of Firecracker

The police says that the explosive materials used by the perpetrators at Veronica Koman's house were a type of firecrackers.


Fuel Tanker Explosion in Sierra Leone Kills Over 100 People

6 November 2021

Fuel Tanker Explosion in Sierra Leone Kills Over 100 People

Over 100 people have been killed in a fuel tanker explosion in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.