A major baptist church has been damaged after an explosion in a Cuban hotel claimed the lives of at least 22 people.
Alejandro Clemente González was talking with an electrician while preparing for weekend services at Cuba’s most important Baptist church when an enormous explosion shook the building and shattered the 19th century dome towering far above the pews.
Concrete plunged from walls, wood and glass showered down from the windows as an apparent gas explosion next door devastated Hotel Saratoga in Old Havana on May 6.
A powerful explosion rocked central Havana on Friday morning, destroying parts of a luxury hotel and damaging nearby buildings just yards from the Cuban Capitol building.
Dozens were injured, the president’s office said. More were missing. Among the dead were a pregnant woman and a child.
The devastating blast came as Cuba is trying to revive a tourism industry that is a key pillar of its fragile economy and that had been upended by the pandemic.
Videos and photos shared on social media showed ambulances rushing to the scene and much of the facade of the Hotel Saratoga destroyed. Rubble was piled on the street, and smoke billowed into the sky.