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Cuba explosion - live: Large blast at The Hotel Saratoga Boutique in Havana

By Graeme Massie
REUTERS

Eight dead after major explosion at Cuban hotel

A large explosion has torn through several floors of a hotel in the Cuban capital of Havana.

Authorities say that eight people were killed and 40 injured in the blast, which is thought to have been caused by a gas leak at The Hotel Saratoga.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, speaking from the scene of the disaster on Cuban television, said the explosion at the Hotel Saratoga had not been caused by a bomb.

A Reuters witness saw smoke and flames coming from the building.

Witnesses told CNN they heard a “massive blast” that also destroyed cars and buses outside the historic building.

Pictures from the scene show at least three floors of the hotel have been destroyed by the explosion.

The building the hotel is now in was constructed in 1880 as warehouses before being converted in 1933 to a hotel. It has 96 rooms and was reopened in 2005 after a refurbishment, according to its website.

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