At least 8 dead in Havana

Rescue workers scoured for survivors after a large explosion rocked an upscale hotel in downtown Havana on Friday, killing at least eight people, Cuban officials said. 

Bystanders fled the scene as police and rescue workers combed through the rubble of the Hotel Saratoga, a five-star hotel located in the historic center of Havana. The 19th century hotel is located just across the street from Cuba’s Capitol building and frequents high-profile guests. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the explosion was caused by a gas leak, according to a stream of updates posted on President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s Twitter account. Díaz-Canel arrived at the scene shortly after the explosion, video shared on social media shows.

Updates posted by the president indicate Luis Antonio Torres Iribar, the first secretary of the Party in Havana, said at least 13 people are still missing and might be trapped. Video on social media showed crowds flocking to the rubble with their cell phones out and workers picking up large blocks, looking for any trace of those missing. 

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