Cuba hotel blast toll rises to 42 — most hotel workers

Cuba hotel blast toll rises to 42 — most hotel workers
Cuba hotel blast toll rises to 42 — most hotel workers

(10 May 2022)
Havana – 10 May 2022
1.Various rescuers, firefighters, dogs and machinery at work at destroyed Saratoga hotel
2. Various military gives orders to rescuers to enter the hotel
3. Yaumara Cobas, mother of Shaidis Cristina Cobas, 27, waitress missing in the hotel, watching
4. Gaviota company spokesperson, hotel administrator and Ministry of Tourism spokesperson at a press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Roberto Enríquez, Gaviota company spokesperson:
“The country’s leadership has made the search for our comrades the number one priority.”
6. Press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Roberto Enríquez, Gaviota company spokesperson:
“Today, according to specialists, the facility is approximately 80% damaged, but all this has to be corroborated.”
8. Various machinery and rescuers in the hotel
9. Destroyed building next to the hotel, machinery, rescue workers
10. Various backpacks, stuffed animals on a sofa, furniture, photo of fifteen and personal items under the rubble in building
11. Various machinery at work, building in rubble
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Carmen Casals, Ministry of Tourism spokesperson:
“Cuba’s image will continue to be that of a destination of peace, tranquility, security and solidarity.”
13. Press conference
14. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Carmen Casals, Ministry of Tourism spokesperson:
“This is a very sad accident, we regret the loss of human lives and the victims but we will recover and we will continue to develop and I am sure that Cuba will continue to be a preferred destination for international and national visitors.”
15. Neighboring buildings near the hotel, military, tanker trucks
16. Posters on balconies reading (Spanish) “We join in the grief of the families of the victims of the unfortunate accident at the Saratoga Hotel”
17. Paramedics, rescuers, firemen, trucks, Capitol in the background
18. Cars, streets, people, city
The emblematic and luxurious Hotel Saratoga was to have its grand reopening this Tuesday but instead it is now a ruin behind a pile of rubble.
80 percent of its structure has been damaged after an explosion on Friday that killed at least 42 people and injured dozens of others.
Roberto Enriquez, a spokesman for the military-owned Gaviota tourism company that operates the Saratoga, said experts’ initial estimates are that 80 percent of the hotel was damaged by Friday’s explosion, which hurled tons of concrete chunks into the busy streets just a block from the country’s Capitol and seriously harmed neighboring structures.
Enriquez also said in a news conference in Havana Tuesday that a multidisciplinary team will decide on the fate of the building once the rescue and recovery work is completed.
Fifty-one people were working to get the hotel ready for its re-inauguration, Enriquez said, and 23 of them are among the dead: executives and maids, cooks and reception desk workers, security personnel and technicians.
Three workers remain missing, believed to be buried under the debris.
Authorities have said they suspect the cause was a leak of gas as a tank truck was servicing the building.
Rescuers have been working continuously for five days since the explosion.
Almost 100 people were injured in some way during the explosion and 17 remain in hospital according to the Health Ministry.
The Ministry of Health said the overall death toll had risen to 42, including at least one Spanish tourist. Seventeen people remained hospitalized.
He said one of the neighboring buildings would have to be demolished.

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