Cubans pay tribute to the 46 fatalities of the explosion at Hotel Saratoga

Hundreds of Cubans paid tribute on Friday night to the victims of an explosion in a hotel in the colonial zone of Havana, in which at least a hundred people were injured and 46 died.

The strong explosion a week ago in The Saratoga Hotelone of the best known in the colonial zone, caused collapses in several of its floors and dozens of rescuers and several days to find the bodies amid the rubble.

The relatives of the deceased arrived at the park in front of the Hotel Saratoga with tears in their eyes and posters with the phrase “Always with us” and the names of the dead.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and his wife, Lis Cuesta, participate in a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Hotel Saratoga explosion in Havana. | Photo: Reuters

They placed bouquets of flowers and candles next to photos of their loved oneswhile being observed by a group of firefighters and rescue forces who participated in the recovery of the bodies.

“We had to be here sharing the pain with family and friends, accompanying them,” said a worker from the University of Informatics Sciences waiting to approach the improvised places of tribute.

Cuban health authorities reported 99 people injured and that four of the dead were children. One of the deceased was a tourist from Spain and another a pregnant woman.

the Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-CanelHe said the explosion was caused by a gas leak at the hotel, but that investigations will continue.

Díaz-Canel had announced on Thursday official mourning in the country to pay tribute to the deceased.

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Photo: Reuters

The blast severely damaged two adjoining apartment buildings and also 17 structures within a two-block radius, about 200 meters.

The neoclassical style hotel was closed and a group of workers and officials were inside when the accident occurred.

Local tourism authorities said plans had been to reopen the Saratoga in mid-May.

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