100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Get all your news in one place
Latest World news:
Major New Zealand salmon producer shuts farms as warming waters cause mass die-offs
Up to 42% of company’s fish have died in warm water areas this year, with CEO warning climate change is…
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Shock, horror and disbelief as Uvalde mourns its dead children
Community of 16,000 deeply shaken after gunman killed 19 children at the Robb Elementary School.
China Premier Issues Warning on Covid-hit Economy
China's premier has sounded an unusually stark warning about the world's second-largest economy, saying it must return to normal as…
Texas school shooting: Cries pierce night after parents of gun victims hear news they dread
The screams of parents could be heard from outside the makeshift crisis centre where they had gathered in Uvalde.
Tunisian President Issues Decree on Referendum for New Constitution
Tunisian President Kais Saied issued on Wednesday a decree to call voters to a referendum on a new constitution on…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Texas school shooter posted on Facebook before barricading classroom
The teen responsible for one of the worst school shootings in the US wrote about his intentions before barricading himself…
Grief Turns to Anger after Gunman Murders 21 at Texas School
Grief at the massacre of 19 small children at an elementary school in Texas spilled into confrontation Wednesday, as angry…

‘Eight dead’ as explosion damages hotel in Cuban capital Havana

By By Associated Press Reporter
The five-star Hotel Saratoga is heavily damaged after an explosion (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

A powerful explosion has damaged a hotel in the Cuban capital, with officials reporting that at least eight people have died.

No tourists were staying at the 96-room Hotel Saratoga because it was undergoing renovations, Havana governor Reinaldo Garcia Zapata told the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

The blast at the hotel, a 19th-century building in Old Havana, was apparently due to a gas leak, according to the Twitter account of the office of president Miguel Diaz-Canel, who went to the site.

It said search and rescue efforts were under way for people who might be trapped.

A taxi is buried in rubble at the site (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Photos published by government news media showed severe damage to the hotel, with clouds of dust billowing into the sky.

Photographer Michel Figueroa said he had been walking past the hotel when “the explosion threw me to the ground, and my head still hurts. Everything was very fast.”

Yazira de la Caridad, mother of two, said the explosion shook her home near the hotel. “The whole building moved. I thought it was an earthquake,” she said. “I’ve still got my heart in my hand.”

A sign for the five-star Hotel Saratoga hangs amid the rubble (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Mayiee Perez said she had gone to the scene after receiving a call from her husband, Daniel Serra, who works at a foreign exchange shop inside the hotel.

She said he told her “I am fine, I am fine, they got us out”, but had been unable to reach him since.

The website Cubadebate reported that a school next door had been evacuated.

The five-star, 96-room hotel in Old Havana has two bars, two restaurants and a rooftop pool, according to its website.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.