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Cuba declares national mourning for victims of hotel explosion

Explosion scene. Source: CNN

On May 12, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel declared two days of national mourning in memory of the victims of a recent hotel explosion in the capital, Havana, that killed 45 people and injured 98 others.

According to a decree signed by the President of Cuba on the same day, from 6:00 a.m. on May 13 to 4:00 p.m. on May 14 (local time), public buildings and military units in this Caribbean island nation will fly at half-mast. because of the deep pain of the nation in the face of the unfortunate accident that occurred at the Saratoga hotel on May 6.”

The gas explosion destroyed the entire facade of the 5-storey Saratoga hotel – a famous historical structure in the center of Havana, opposite the Cuban Capitolio building. Built in the late 19th century, the luxury Saratoga hotel was once home to many famous guests such as Madonna, Beyonce, Mick Jagger and Rihanna.

According to Colonel Luis Carlos Guzmán, commander of the Cuban National Fire Service, 90% of the structure of the Saratoga hotel was severely damaged after the explosion and therefore the structure is in danger of collapse.

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