Cuba hotel blast toll rises to 43 — mostly hotel workers

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Aftermath of a hotel explosion in Havana, Cuba, Photo Date: 05/06/2022

HAVANA (AP) — The elegant Hotel Saratoga was supposed to reopen in Havana on Tuesday after a two-year pandemic break.

Instead, it has been a day of mourning for the 43 people known to have died in an explosion that ripped the building apart.

A spokesman for the hotel says experts’ estimate 80% of the hotel was damaged by Friday’s explosion, which hurled tons of concrete chunks into the streets and seriously harmed neighboring structures.

Officials reported Tuesday evening that a 43rd body had been recovered, but it was not immediately known if the latest victim had worked at the hotel.

Earlier, officials said 51 people were working to get the hotel ready for reopening and 23 of them were among the dead. They said three workers remained missing.

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