At least 8 dead in Havana

Rescuers searched for survivors after a large explosion rocked an upscale hotel in downtown Havana on Friday, killing at least eight people, Cuban officials said.

Bystanders fled the scene as police and rescue workers searched the rubble of Hotel Saratoga, a five-star hotel in the historic center of Havana. The 19th-century hotel is located directly across from Cuba’s Capitol building and frequents high-profile guests.

A preliminary investigation indicated the blast was caused by a gas leak, according to a stream of updates posted on President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s Twitter account. Díaz-Canel arrived at the scene shortly after the explosion, video shared on social media shows.

Updates released by the president indicate that Luis Antonio Torres Iribar, the party’s first secretary in Havana, said at least 13 people are still missing and could be trapped. Video on social media showed crowds flocking to the rubble with their mobile phones out and workers picking up large blocks, looking for any trace of the missing people.

USA Today

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