The number of deaths after the explosion last Friday at the Saratoga hotel in Havana increased to 43, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) reported on Tuesday.

According to the updated government report, 17 people remain hospitalized, of which 6 are in serious condition and 2 are critical.

The total number of injured in the explosion stands at 97, one more than in the morning report, as well as one additional deceased. Also, a total of 37 people have been discharged.

All the dead so far are of Cuban nationality, with the exception of a Spanish national, as well as one of the wounded.

The rescuers work against the clock to find the workers in the rubble of the establishment, which according to the first information from the authorities, exploded after a liquefied gas leak.

The head of the Cuban Fire Department, Colonel Luis Guzmán, reported in the morning that at least three hotel workers are still missing.

"The search is focused on the kitchen and dining areas in high-risk conditions, so rescuers and firefighters are also protected"Guzmán said, according to the state-run Cuban News Agency.

Regarding how long the operation could take, Guzmán pointed out that it cannot be "give an estimate".

“We want it to be as fast as possible, but we cannot violate what is established, with the security measures, by making a hasty decision,” reported the state media Cubadebate.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the accident site this afternoon to supervise the rescue efforts.

The hotel was not operational at the time of the accident, but 51 workers were inside, getting it ready for the reopening, scheduled for this Wednesday.

The Saratoga was built in 1880 and from 1911 it functioned as a hotel. Its last restoration took place in 2005, when the building was reformed in depth.

This luxury accommodation, with a five-star category, is located on the iconic Paseo del Prado avenue, in the historic center of the Cuban capital, the area most visited by tourists who come to the island.


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