Building Collapse Kills Four in Old Havana / 14ymedio

Building collapse on Habana Street in Old Havana.
Building collapse on Habana Street in Old Havana.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 July 2015 – The peaceful early morning was turned into a tragedy for the neighbors of 409 Habana Street between Obispo and Obrapia, in Old Havana.

While the residents of the place slept, at six in the morning this Wednesday, the building fell down and caused at least four deaths, a figure that could risein the coming hours given the severity of the injuries.

A minor was taken to Juan Manual Marquez Pediatric Hospital and two adults are being cared for at Calixto Garcia Hospital. There they also received the last of the dead confirmed by 14ymedio, a young woman age 18, Glendys Amayi Pérez Kindelán, who was visiting Havana at the home of some family members. In the Tomas Romay Polyclinic in Aguiar Street Henola Álvarez Martínez, a little girl of 3 gravely injured in the collapse, died.

Jorge A. Álvarez Rodríguez, age 18, and Mayra Páez Mora, age 60, also died.

The street, located in a tourist area, was cordoned off from the very early hours of the morning and the police detained a young man taking photos of the incident. The roof was totally caved in and the façade is cracked in half. Among the rubble one can see furniture, clothing, beds and other items.

The building had two floors and the neighbors attribute the collapse to the ground floor tenant who was remodeling and may have removed some bearing wall. The most affected family had lodged several complaints and denunciations about these “construction movements” being undertaken in the downstairs dwelling. The intense rains that fell in Havana yesterday and the poor state of the housing could have contributed to the collapse.

The rescue brigades are working non-stop to remove the debris in order to be able to enter the building.