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João Lourenço expresses “deep consternation” over explosion in Havana hotel

The President of the Republic expressed “deep consternation” at the Friday explosion in a hotel in Havana, which left at least 43 dead and 97 injured.


"The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, expressed deep dismay to the Cuban people and the government of that friendly country, due to the events that took place a few days ago in Havana", read a statement released by the office of the head of state.

According to the same note, João Lourenço sent a message of condolences to his counterpart, Miguel Mário-Díaz Canel, in which he expressed the "solidarity of the Government and on its behalf with the victims and the Cuban people in general, asking that feelings be transmitted condolences to those who lost their loved ones in this sad event".

An explosion on Friday at the Saratoga hotel in Havana left 43 dead and 97 injured, according to Cuban authorities.

Seventeen people remain hospitalized, six of whom are in a serious condition and two in a critical condition, with 37 people having already been discharged, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) also announced.
Among the dead, aged between 10 and 77, were four minors and a pregnant woman, all of whom were Cubans with the exception of a 29-year-old Spanish woman.

Firefighters, first responders and emergency teams continue to work against time to find more people among the rubble.

The head of the Cuban Fire Department, Luis Guzmán, revealed that at least three hotel employees are still missing.

The Cuban government has reiterated on several occasions, since the explosion that took place on Friday morning, that it was a gas leak and a commission is investigating the incident.

At the time of the explosion, a liquefied gas tanker was parked in front of the hotel and refilling a tank at the establishment, with the possibility that the hose may have broken.

The Saratoga was built in 1880 and has been a hotel since 1911.

Its last restoration took place in 2005, when the building was extensively renovated, acquiring the five-star category and being classified among the most luxurious in the Cuban capital.

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