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Cuba Declares 42 Hours Of Mourning For Hotel Blast Deaths

Channels Television  
Updated May 13, 2022
Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the ruins of the Saratoga Hotel, in Havana, on May 8, 2022. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP)

 

 

Cuba on Thursday announced 42 hours of mourning for the 45 people killed in an explosion at a hotel in Havana last week.

The period of mourning will begin at dawn on Friday and last until midnight on Saturday.

A statement read out on state television gave the latest death toll of “44 compatriots and a Spanish citizen,” while announcing the period of mourning.

Cuba’s flag is due “to fly at half mast on public buildings and military institutions,” added the statement.

The announcement was made shortly after fire brigade chief Luis Carlos Guzman told reporters that the last dead body had been pulled from the rubble of the iconic Saratoga hotel in Havana’s historic quarter.

Guzman said it had been “a very risky” operation to pull out the final body, that of a hotel employee, from the wreckage.

Amongst the dead were four minors, a pregnant woman and the 29-year-old Spanish tourist.

Another 54 people were injured in the blast, believed to have been caused by gas, according to the Public Health Ministry.

Of those, 16 remain in hospital, including four children, two of whom are in a critical condition.

The blast tore off large parts of the facade, blew out windows and destroyed cars parked outside the hotel.

The luxury property is known for having hosted celebrities such as Madonna, Beyonce and Mick Jagger.