The explosion that partially destroyed the Saratoga hotel in central Havana, Cuba, on Friday left at least 25 people dead, including a Spanish tourist, according to a new official report released Saturday on state television.
The previous toll on Friday night indicated 22 people killed and more than 50 injured in the explosion, likely due to a gas leak.
“We get tragic news from Cuba. A Spanish tourist has died and another Spanish citizen is seriously injured after the explosion of the Saratoga hotel,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Twitter.
“All our affection for their families and those of all the victims and injured. Our support also to the Cuban people,” he added.
We receive tragic news from Cuba. A Spanish tourist has died and another Spanish citizen is seriously injured after the explosion of the Saratoga hotel.
All our love for their families and those of all the victims and wounded. Our support also for the Cuban people.
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) May 7, 2022
Rescuers continued the search through the rubble on Saturday, hoping to find new survivors. The search now focuses on the interior of the hotel and the basement.
“It is very regrettable what happened, the destruction, especially the loss of life, and also the injured people, but once again I want to highlight the speed with which the population and institutions were mobilized,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted.
“Solidarity has prevailed. #FuerzaCuba,” he added, alluding to Cubans who rushed Friday to donate blood to help the wounded.
Emblematic hotel in Old Havana, the Saratoga had been closed for two years for repairs and was preparing to reopen to the public on May 10.
Inside were the workers when the explosion occurred.
The first four floors of the five-star hotel known to have hosted several celebrities in recent years, including Mick Jagger, Beyoncé and Madonna, were destroyed by the explosion, which occurred at 11:00 (local time) on Friday.
Built in 1880 to house shops, the building was transformed into a hotel in 1933 and renovated into a luxury establishment in 2005.
Read more: Saratoga Hotel: the splendor and decay of the Havana building that suffered an explosion this Friday
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