A Month After the Explosion of the Saratoga Hotel, Cubans Seek Answers

View from Dragones Street where the Saratoga Hotel and the El Calvario Temple meet, headquarters of the Western Baptist Convention. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 6 June 2022 — Still surrounded by a strong police operation and with metal fences to prevent the passage of pedestrians and vehicles, the deteriorated structure of the Saratoga Hotel continues to remind everyone who approaches about the explosion of a month ago that destroyed part of the building and claimed the lives of 46 people.

The event, which shocked the entire country, continues to be involved in controversy and the results of the police investigation into the causes of the accident have not yet been made public. Since that fateful Friday, six people who suffered injuries in the incident, including a minor, continue to be hospitalized.

Due to the intense rains this weekend that left four dead and hundreds of building collapses, the access points to the building in Old Havana were cordoned off to prevent the population from approaching what remains after the explosion of one of the most emblematic hotels in Havana. the city, founded in 1933.

The Saratoga hotel is located in a 19th century building, and was categorized as five stars. At the time of the explosion, which left 99 injured, the tourist facility was closed for repairs and its reopening was scheduled for May 10.

Some of the buildings damaged by the incident still have not received major repairs, as is the case of the residential buildings that exist in the block, and all of which were affected.

Of the building located at Prado 609, which had to be evacuated, the official press reported that they would begin the shoring process and then begin studies for a possible repair “with the aim of maintaining the same façade.”

The building on Zulueta street marked with the number 512 continues in the process of demolition, and according to local authorities this work will take about two months. “Then the Historian’s Office will work on a proposal for new housing for that space and for the corner of Monte and Zulueta,” according to the State newspaper Granma. The properties adjacent to Saratoga located Prado 617 and Zulueta 508 also received irreparable damage.

Most of the residents affected by the explosion were housed in state facilities or at the homes of family and friends.


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