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Thread: Cuba Hotel Saratoga explosion: At least 43 killed in massive Havana blast

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    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Cuba Hotel Saratoga explosion: At least 43 killed in massive Havana blast

    A powerful explosion rocked a five-star hotel in the center of Havana, Cuba, on Friday morning, killing at least four people and sending survivors scrambling for safety as authorities raced to try to rescue those trapped in the rubble, reports said.

    At least 19 people were injured and 13 others reported missing, the Guardian said.

    A Twitter account for the Cuban presidency reported a 'liquefied gas explosion' as the possible cause for the deadly incident, but further details were not released, the Miami Herald reported.

    The explosion leveled cars and buses parked in front of the posh Hotel Saratoga in downtown Havana, CNN reported.

    At least three floors and the facade of the 1930s-era hotel were reduced to rubble by the blast, the news station reported.

    A student who lives in the city told NBC News that the blast was strong enough to wake him up.

    "I was at home and heard a loud noise, and I stood in my balcony and looked in that direction," the unidentified student told the news network. "It was a large explosion. I felt it, I was asleep and it woke me."

    According to its website, the hotel is a 'luxurious neoclassical architecture style' hotel that's located on the Paseo del Prado in Old Havana.

    The facility was refurbished and reopened in 2005.


    https://nypost.com/2022/05/06/havana...for-survivors/

  2. #2
    Senior Member jennafyre's Avatar
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    So sad. Death toll up to 18 now.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/cuba-h...sion-1.6444352

    Victims include a pregnant woman and a child, presidency says in tweet
    Thomson Reuters ? Posted: May 06, 2022 1:56 PM ET | Last Updated: 2 minutes ago

    Explosion rocks downtown Havana hotel, with many fatalities, injuries

    Several people were killed and more injured after an explosion at Hotel Saratoga in Havana, Cuba. The blast tore a hole several floors high into the side of the building. 0:40
    The death toll in an explosion that hit a well-known hotel in downtown Havana on Friday has risen to 18, Cuba's presidency posted on Twitter.

    A pregnant woman and a child were among those killed, the post said.

    More to come

    This is a breaking update. A previous version of this story can be read below.

    A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak Friday killed at least 11 people and injured 40 when it blew away outer walls from a luxury hotel in the heart of Cuba's capital.

    No tourists were staying at the 96-room Hotel Saratoga because it was undergoing renovations, Havana Gov. Reinaldo Garcia Zapata told the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

    "It has not been a bomb or an attack. It is a tragic accident," President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who visited the site, said in a tweet.

    Cuban state TV reported that the blast was caused by a truck that had been supplying natural gas to the hotel, but did not provide details on how the natural gas ignited.

    The blast sent smoke billowing into the air around the hotel with people on the street staring in awe, one saying "Oh my God," and cars honking their horns as they sped away from the scene, video showed. It happened as Cuba is struggling to revive its key tourism sector that was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.


    Workers look on as debris is being removed after an explosion hit the Hotel Saratoga in Havana on Friday. (Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters)
    Cuban state TV reported that at least nine people died and Cuba's national health minister, Jose Angel Portal, told The Associated Press that hospitals had received about 40 injured people.

    But he said the number of injured could rise as the search continues for people who may be trapped in the rubble of the 19th century structure in the Old Havana neighborhood of the city.


    Granma reported that local officials said 13 people were missing. An elementary school next to the hotel was evacuated and local news media said no children were hurt.

    "We are still looking for a large group of people who may be under the rubble," Lt.-Col. Noel Silva of the fire department said.

    Global Affairs said it is not aware of any Canadians "affected by this incident."

  3. #3
    What do you care? Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    Jeezus. A gas truck did this? Of all of the freak accidents in the world and it kills 18 people
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    That is too pretty to be shoved up an ass.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jennafyre's Avatar
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    Death toll rises. Can't imagine what it would have been if this hotel had been operating and full.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/havana...math-1.6445452

    At least 26 dead in wake of Havana hotel explosion as search for victims continues


    Relatives of the missing desperately await news of their loved ones
    The Associated Press ? Posted: May 07, 2022 10:52 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 minutes ago

    Rescue teams in Havana remove debris from the Hotel Saratoga on Saturday, a day after an explosion destroyed much of the luxury hotel in Cuba's capital. The hotel was undergoing renovations ahead of a planned Tuesday reopening after being closed for two years during the pandemic. (Ramon Espinosa/The Associated Press)
    Relatives of the missing in Cuba's capital desperately searched on Saturday for victims of an explosion at one of Havana's most luxurious hotels that killed at least 26 people. They checked the morgue, hospitals and, if unsuccessful, returned to the partially collapsed Hotel Saratoga, where rescuers used dogs to hunt for survivors.

    A natural gas leak was the apparent cause of Friday's blast at Havana's 96-room Hotel Saratoga.

    The 19th-century structure in the city's Old Havana neighbourhood did not have any guests at the time because it was undergoing renovations ahead of a planned Tuesday reopening after being closed for two years during the pandemic.

    Havana city officials raised the death toll to 26 on Saturday. The dead included four children and a pregnant woman. Spanish President Pedro Sanchez said via Twitter that a Spanish tourist was among the dead and that another Spaniard was seriously injured.

    Cuban authorities confirmed the tourist's death and said her partner was injured. They were not staying at the hotel. Dalila Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the Tourism Ministry, said a Cuban-American tourist was also injured.


    Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the ruins of Havana's Hotel Saratoga on Saturday. A natural gas leak was the apparent cause of the explosion at the 96-room hotel. (Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)

    The official Cubadebate website also cited the Health Ministry in confirming 80 injured, of whom 46 remained hospitalized.

    Representatives of Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, which owns the hotel, said during a Saturday news conference that 51 workers had been inside the hotel at the time, as well as two people working on renovations. Of those, 11 were killed, 13 remained missing and six were hospitalized.

    Gonzalez said the cause of the blast was still under investigation, but a large crane hoisted a charred gas tanker from the hotel's rubble early Saturday.

    Ongoing search effort
    Search-and-rescue teams worked through the night and into Saturday, using ladders to descend through the rubble and twisted metal into the hotel's basement as heavy machinery gingerly moved away piles of the building's facade to allow access.

    Above, chunks of drywall dangled from wires, and desks sat seemingly undisturbed inches from the void where the front of the building cleaved away.

    At least one survivor was found early Saturday in the shattered ruins of the hotel, and rescuers using search dogs clambered over huge chunks of concrete looking for more. Relatives of missing people remained at the site while others gathered at hospitals where the injured were being treated.


    A rescuer carries a Cuban flag as he walks by the rubble after a huge blast wrecked the Hotel Saratoga in Havana on Friday. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
    A desperate Yatmara Cobas stood outside the perimeter waiting for word of her daughter, 27-year-old housekeeper Shaidis Cobas.

    "My daughter is in the Saratoga; she's been there since 8 a.m. [Friday], and at this time I don't know anything about her," Cobas said. "She's not at the morgue, she's not in the hospital."

    The mother said she had gone everywhere seeking answers from authorities but came up empty.

    "I'm tired of the lies," she said.

    A continuing shock
    Lt.-Col. Enrique Pe?a briefed Comandante Ramiro Valdes, who fought alongside late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, on the search efforts at the site on Saturday morning.

    Pe?a said the presence of people had been detected on the first floor and in the basement, and four teams of search dogs and handlers were working. He did not know if the victims were alive or dead.

    "I don't want to move from here," Cristina Avellar told The Associated Press near the hotel.

    Avellar was waiting for news of Odalys Barrera, a 57-year-old cashier who has worked at the hotel for five years. She is the godmother of Barrera's daughters and says she considers her like a sister.


    Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the ruins of the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana on Friday. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
    The president's office shared a radio exchange between a fire chief at the scene and the command centre.

    The chief called for rescue teams, saying that "the side part of the Saratoga is completely gone."

    "We have a school here and we're going to evacuate the school," the chief said. "There's a lot of panic here."

    Havana Gov. Reinaldo Garcia Zapata later said five of the students suffered minor injuries.

    Neighbours were still in shock a day after the explosion.

    Child among 22 killed in Havana hotel explosion, Cuba says
    "I thought it was a bomb," said Guillermo Madan, a 73-year-old retiree who lives just metres from the building but was not injured.

    The three-decade resident of the neighbourhood was cooking and watching television when he heard the blast.

    "My room moved from here to there. My neighbour's window broke, the plates, everything."

    Katerine Marrero, 31, was shopping at the time. "I left the store, I felt the explosion," she said. "Everyone started to run."

    Tourism troubles
    The explosion is seemingly another blow to the country's crucial tourism industry.

    Even before the coronavirus pandemic kept tourists away from Cuba, the country was struggling with tightened sanctions imposed by former U.S. president Donald Trump and kept in place by the Biden administration. Those sanctions limited visits by American tourists to the islands and restricted remittances from Cubans in the U.S. to their families in Cuba.


    The lower floors of the Hotel Saratoga appear to have sustained most of the damage from Friday's blast. (Ramon Espinosa/The Associated Press)
    Tourism had started to revive somewhat early this year, but the war in Ukraine deflated a boom of Russian visitors, who accounted for almost a third of the tourists arriving in Cuba last year.

    The emblematic hotel had a stunning view of Cuba's centre, including the domed Capitol building about 100 metres away. The Capitol sustained broken glass and damaged masonry from the explosion.

    The hotel was renovated in 2005 as part of the Cuban government's revival of Old Havana, is owned by the Cuban military's tourism business arm, Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA. The company said it was investigating the cause of the blast and did not respond to an email from the AP seeking more details about the hotel and the renovation it was undergoing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jennafyre's Avatar
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    Death toll rises. Can't imagine what it would have been if this hotel had been operating and full.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/havana...math-1.6445452

    At least 26 dead in wake of Havana hotel explosion as search for victims continues


    Relatives of the missing desperately await news of their loved ones
    The Associated Press ? Posted: May 07, 2022 10:52 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 minutes ago

    Rescue teams in Havana remove debris from the Hotel Saratoga on Saturday, a day after an explosion destroyed much of the luxury hotel in Cuba's capital. The hotel was undergoing renovations ahead of a planned Tuesday reopening after being closed for two years during the pandemic. (Ramon Espinosa/The Associated Press)
    Relatives of the missing in Cuba's capital desperately searched on Saturday for victims of an explosion at one of Havana's most luxurious hotels that killed at least 26 people. They checked the morgue, hospitals and, if unsuccessful, returned to the partially collapsed Hotel Saratoga, where rescuers used dogs to hunt for survivors.

    A natural gas leak was the apparent cause of Friday's blast at Havana's 96-room Hotel Saratoga.

    The 19th-century structure in the city's Old Havana neighbourhood did not have any guests at the time because it was undergoing renovations ahead of a planned Tuesday reopening after being closed for two years during the pandemic.

    Havana city officials raised the death toll to 26 on Saturday. The dead included four children and a pregnant woman. Spanish President Pedro Sanchez said via Twitter that a Spanish tourist was among the dead and that another Spaniard was seriously injured.

    Cuban authorities confirmed the tourist's death and said her partner was injured. They were not staying at the hotel. Dalila Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the Tourism Ministry, said a Cuban-American tourist was also injured.


    Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the ruins of Havana's Hotel Saratoga on Saturday. A natural gas leak was the apparent cause of the explosion at the 96-room hotel. (Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)

    The official Cubadebate website also cited the Health Ministry in confirming 80 injured, of whom 46 remained hospitalized.

    Representatives of Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, which owns the hotel, said during a Saturday news conference that 51 workers had been inside the hotel at the time, as well as two people working on renovations. Of those, 11 were killed, 13 remained missing and six were hospitalized.

    Gonzalez said the cause of the blast was still under investigation, but a large crane hoisted a charred gas tanker from the hotel's rubble early Saturday.

    Ongoing search effort
    Search-and-rescue teams worked through the night and into Saturday, using ladders to descend through the rubble and twisted metal into the hotel's basement as heavy machinery gingerly moved away piles of the building's facade to allow access.

    Above, chunks of drywall dangled from wires, and desks sat seemingly undisturbed inches from the void where the front of the building cleaved away.

    At least one survivor was found early Saturday in the shattered ruins of the hotel, and rescuers using search dogs clambered over huge chunks of concrete looking for more. Relatives of missing people remained at the site while others gathered at hospitals where the injured were being treated.


    A rescuer carries a Cuban flag as he walks by the rubble after a huge blast wrecked the Hotel Saratoga in Havana on Friday. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
    A desperate Yatmara Cobas stood outside the perimeter waiting for word of her daughter, 27-year-old housekeeper Shaidis Cobas.

    "My daughter is in the Saratoga; she's been there since 8 a.m. [Friday], and at this time I don't know anything about her," Cobas said. "She's not at the morgue, she's not in the hospital."

    The mother said she had gone everywhere seeking answers from authorities but came up empty.

    "I'm tired of the lies," she said.

    A continuing shock
    Lt.-Col. Enrique Pe?a briefed Comandante Ramiro Valdes, who fought alongside late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, on the search efforts at the site on Saturday morning.

    Pe?a said the presence of people had been detected on the first floor and in the basement, and four teams of search dogs and handlers were working. He did not know if the victims were alive or dead.

    "I don't want to move from here," Cristina Avellar told The Associated Press near the hotel.

    Avellar was waiting for news of Odalys Barrera, a 57-year-old cashier who has worked at the hotel for five years. She is the godmother of Barrera's daughters and says she considers her like a sister.


    Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the ruins of the Hotel Saratoga, in Havana on Friday. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
    The president's office shared a radio exchange between a fire chief at the scene and the command centre.

    The chief called for rescue teams, saying that "the side part of the Saratoga is completely gone."

    "We have a school here and we're going to evacuate the school," the chief said. "There's a lot of panic here."

    Havana Gov. Reinaldo Garcia Zapata later said five of the students suffered minor injuries.

    Neighbours were still in shock a day after the explosion.

    Child among 22 killed in Havana hotel explosion, Cuba says
    "I thought it was a bomb," said Guillermo Madan, a 73-year-old retiree who lives just metres from the building but was not injured.

    The three-decade resident of the neighbourhood was cooking and watching television when he heard the blast.

    "My room moved from here to there. My neighbour's window broke, the plates, everything."

    Katerine Marrero, 31, was shopping at the time. "I left the store, I felt the explosion," she said. "Everyone started to run."

    Tourism troubles
    The explosion is seemingly another blow to the country's crucial tourism industry.

    Even before the coronavirus pandemic kept tourists away from Cuba, the country was struggling with tightened sanctions imposed by former U.S. president Donald Trump and kept in place by the Biden administration. Those sanctions limited visits by American tourists to the islands and restricted remittances from Cubans in the U.S. to their families in Cuba.


    The lower floors of the Hotel Saratoga appear to have sustained most of the damage from Friday's blast. (Ramon Espinosa/The Associated Press)
    Tourism had started to revive somewhat early this year, but the war in Ukraine deflated a boom of Russian visitors, who accounted for almost a third of the tourists arriving in Cuba last year.

    The emblematic hotel had a stunning view of Cuba's centre, including the domed Capitol building about 100 metres away. The Capitol sustained broken glass and damaged masonry from the explosion.

    The hotel was renovated in 2005 as part of the Cuban government's revival of Old Havana, is owned by the Cuban military's tourism business arm, Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA. The company said it was investigating the cause of the blast and did not respond to an email from the AP seeking more details about the hotel and the renovation it was undergoing.

  6. #6
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/06/ameri...ion/index.html

    At least 32 dead after a massive explosion destroyed a hotel in Havana, Cuba

    At least 32 people have died, and 19 remain missing following Friday's explosion at the Hotel Saratoga in Havana, Red Cross official Gloria Bonnin told Cuba's state-run Prensa Latina News Agency on Saturday.
    The state-run company Gaviota that manages the hotel said 11 workers died in the blast and 13 remain missing. A Cuban-American woman is among the injured, according to Dalila Alba Gonz?lez, a Ministry of Tourism spokesperson.
    A gas leak is thought to be the cause of the explosion, according to the Cuban Presidential Office, which said that more details would follow.

    "Everything indicates that the explosion was caused by an accident," the Cuban Presidential Office said in a tweet.

    According to preliminary data, a child and a pregnant woman were among those who died, it said.

    The presidency also said 64 people have been hospitalized for injuries, including 14 minors.
    Cuban state TV said there are potential survivors trapped in the basement of the destroyed hotel.

    Witnesses described a "massive blast," which appeared to destroy buses and cars outside the hotel in the center of the city.

    Images from the scene showed the blown-out facade of at least three floors of the ornate green-and-white stuccoed building. Plumes of dust and smoke could be seen rising around debris on the ground.
    A CNN team on the ground saw a bloodied woman being carried away at the scene of the explosion. Fireman were using their bare hands to move chunks of broken granite and stone in order to pull people out of the rubble. Pieces of metal awnings, balconies and large chunks of stone were scattered about 300 feet away from the hotel.
    There is an interesting picture at the link where you can see before and after if you drag the screen.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/06/ameri...ion/index.html

    At least 32 dead after a massive explosion destroyed a hotel in Havana, Cuba



    There is an interesting picture at the link where you can see before and after if you drag the screen.
    On a side note...can we talk about the cool cars in the before picture of the hotel?

  8. #8
    Moderator puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewitchingstorm View Post
    On a side note...can we talk about the cool cars in the before picture of the hotel?
    I have always wanted to visit Cuba, in large part because of the cool cars and of course "Guys and Dolls"
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  9. #9
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewitchingstorm View Post
    On a side note...can we talk about the cool cars in the before picture of the hotel?
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    I have always wanted to visit Cuba, in large part because of the cool cars and of course "Guys and Dolls"
    YES! The cars are awesome! We were in the middle of making plans to visit with out travel buddies when Trump shut down access several years ago. sad: I was hoping Biden would open it back up again.

  10. #10
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hotel-s...on-death-toll/

    Hotel Saratoga Havana explosion death toll rises to 43

    The elegant Hotel Saratoga was supposed to reopen in Havana on Tuesday after a two-year pandemic break. Instead, it was a day of mourning for the 43 people known to have died in an explosion that ripped the building apart.

    Emergency workers continued to hunt through the ruins for other victims as experts began to consider the fate of the 19th century building, a former warehouse that had been converted into a hotel early in the last century.

    Roberto Enriquez, a spokesman for the military-owned Gaviota tourism company that operates the Saratoga, said experts' initial estimates are that 80% of the hotel was damaged by Friday's explosion, which hurled tons of concrete chunks into the busy streets just a block from the country's Capitol and seriously harmed neighboring structures.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Ugh, how terrible.

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