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Havana, Cuba explosion: 32 killed, 74 treated in hospital and 19 missing after hotel blast

Crews worked through a second night searching for victims at the Hotel Saratoga explosion in Havana that left 32 people dead and a further 74 have been treated in the hospital.

Over 19 people remain missing following Friday’s explosion according to a Red Cross official Gloria Bonnin on Cuba’s state-run Prensa Latina News Agency on Saturday.

The Hotel Saratoga, a luxury 96-room hotel in Old Havana, was finishing renovations when an apparent gas leak produced a massive explosion on Friday.

Just steps from Cuba’s capitol, the Saratoga’s façade was sheared off, burying workers inside and apparently passersby outside under concrete and twisted metal. The explosion came in the late morning when the streets and plaza in front of the stately hotel would have been full of pedestrians.

On Saturday evening, Dr. Julio Guerra Izquierdo, chief of hospital services at the Ministry of Health, said the death toll included four children and a pregnant woman.

Some 37 people remained hospitalized, according to the Health Ministry.

Earlier Saturday afternoon, a representative of Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, which owns the hotel, said 13 of its workers remained missing.

Gov. Reinaldo García Zapata said Saturday evening that 19 families had reported loved ones missing and that rescue efforts would continue.

Authorities said the cause of the explosion was still under investigation, but believed it to have been caused by a gas leak.

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