The Hotel Saratoga, a luxury Cuban hotspot that has boasted stays by American diplomats and celebrities alike, was partially destroyed in a Friday explosion that killed eight and injured dozens more.
Photos and videos on social media show the partially collapsed hotel, located in oldtown Havana, the Cuban capital, alongside a pile of dust and debris. According to CNN, the office of the Cuban president said at least 8 had been killed and 30 were injured. Authorities have indicated that the likely cause of the explosion was a gas leak.
En solo 5 minutos te cambia la vida para siempre.
Mis condolencias a todas las víctimas. #Saratoga pic.twitter.com/wlXoRvAUlg
— Erich (@ErichGarciaCruz) May 6, 2022
🚨🚨 ÚLTIMA HORA 🚨🚨 Explosión en el Hotel Saratoga en La Habana. Hasta el momento no se conocen detalles de qué pudo haber provocado el incidente y si hay víctimas al interior del inmuble. https://t.co/uaIJhzASwr pic.twitter.com/cjVUtCNaB3
— Cuba Bella 🇨🇺 (@CubaBella13) May 6, 2022
According to the Agence-France Press, the hotel had been undergoing repairs at the time of the explosion. Rescue work is currently underway. A government official said that the hotel was not open to the public at the time of the blast, reports The New York Times.
A number of high-profile guests have visited the hotel in recent years, including Madonna, Beyonce and Jay-Z. In 2016, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited the hotel along with an American congressional delegation. Two years earlier, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) visited the hotel for a trip.
The hotel is located about 200 miles from Miami, Florida, where a condo collapse last summer left 98 dead, including several Cuban immigrants.
This is a developing story; refresh the page for updates.