Explosion Hits Luxury Cuban Hotel; 8 Dead, Dozens Injured: Report
View of the Saratoga Hotel on November 11, 2019 in Havana

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. 

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. 

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