14ymedio, Havana, 19 March 2023 — A residential building on San Miguel Street, between Campanario and Manrique streets in Central Havana, collapsed on Saturday afternoon. Official media outlets reported that two people were injured: a mother and her nearly one-year-old son.
A video posted on Facebook shows medical services and the police arriving at the scene of the accident as a crowd of people look on.
In a short statement broadcast by state media, officials said that initially there were only two victims. However, speculation on social media suggested there was a third person, whose condition is unknown because “the entire building collapsed” on him.
Both Old Havana and Central Havana are regularly the scenes of building failures due to decades-long neglect of the areas’ many old buildings. The situation is made worse by the excessive dampness and salt residue — from proximity to the sea — found in these structures.
Frustration over the precarious state of one building’s infrastructure led a group of families living on Habana Street between Aguiar and Muralla, a block in the oldest part of the city, to move their belongings into the street in protest after the building’s roof collapsed and they spent days waiting helplessly for some solution.
Some buildings are in such bad shape, however, that they end up falling down completely. This happened in November on Refugio Street, between Prado and Morro, where it took a huge deployment of fire trucks, and even rescue dogs, to pull three people out of the rubble.
A month before, one girl was killed and three people were injured in Old Havana after a roof fell on them. The incident occurred shortly after midnight on Monday, October 17, in the dilapidated building in which they were living on Sol Street, between Egido and Villegas.
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