Havana’s Hotel Saratoga explosion death toll rises to 32 while 19 others are still missing

CNN is reporting that the death toll from the explosion at the Hotel Saratoga in Havana, Cuba on Friday has risen to 32 as rescue crews continue searching the rubble for bodies and any survivors:

At least 32 people have died, and 19 remain missing following Friday’s explosion at the Hotel Saratoga in Havana, Red Cross official Gloria Bonnin told Cuba’s state-run Prensa Latina News Agency on Saturday.

The state-run company Gaviota that manages the hotel said 11 workers died in the blast and 13 remain missing. A Cuban-American woman is among the injured, according to Dalila Alba González, a Ministry of Tourism spokesperson.

A gas leak is thought to be the cause of the explosion, according to the Cuban Presidential Office, which said that more details would follow.

“Everything indicates that the explosion was caused by an accident,” the Cuban Presidential Office said in a tweet.

According to preliminary data, a child and a pregnant woman were among those who died, it said.

The presidency also said 64 people have been hospitalized for injuries, including 14 minors.

Cuban state TV said there are potential survivors trapped in the basement of the destroyed hotel.

The hotel was originally built in the 19th century and became one of the most popular on the island. It has since been taken over by the Cuban military that rented its luxurious suites to foreign tourists to generate hard currency.

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