14ymedio, Havana, 10 May 2022 – On Tuesday, Cuban Civil Defense has denied reports of an alleged gas leak in Havana. The entity responded to complaints of a strong smell of gas in various areas of the city claiming that it was “false news” spread by “unscrupulous people.”
From the early hours of the morning, reports of an intense smell of gas began to be published on social networks in numerous Havana neighborhoods, essentially in the municipalities of Old Havana, Centro Habana and Plaza de la Revolución.
Marieta, a resident of Centro Habana, confirmed to 14ymedio that, since Tuesday night, in her neighborhood she has felt “a strong smell of gas, sometimes it dissipates but comes back again.” Concerned about the explosion at the Saratoga hotel, she called the Fire Department command post in the capital.
“That smell is now affecting the city, several municipalities because that is part of a job that is done from time to time. The substance called methyl mercaptan is injected into the gas, which is what gives the gas its smell so that people can detect the leaks and others,” explained the official from the Fire Department who took the call at 105, a number authorized for emergencies.
“That substance was injected and that is why it has a strong smell. It seems that there are broken pipes on public roads and it is also spreading through the sewers. But the smell is affecting several municipalities. There is no danger or anything,” the firefighter added, when explaining that the gas [alone] does not have an odor and it proceeds in this way every “now and then.”
However, both Marieta and many of her neighbors question why this operation has not been announced by the official media and express their concern because if they smell such a strong odor, it indicates that there are leaks in the pipes and sewers.
The denial of the Civil Defense generated angry comments from residents in places where the intense smell of gas was reported. Most of the response messages regretted the Civil Defense describing the people who reported the situation as “unscrupulous.”
After the wave of concerns, Canal Caribe published on its social networks that on Tuesday night Primetime News will clarify “the situation regarding the possible gas leak in Havana associated with the events at the Saratoga hotel,” by sharing a publication by Humberto López where it is states that several journalists will address the issue.
In El Vedado, on Tuesday morning, some state workplaces were evacuated, including the Pedro Borrás Pediatric Hospital located at 27 and F, as confirmed by several neighbors to this newspaper.
The Manufactured Gas Company, for its part, reported that “in recent days attention to reports of possible gas leaks has been reinforced, including creating 15 brigades with the necessary means and equipment for this.”
The entity also assured that its workers “are on call 24 hours a day to respond to all calls or situations that arise” and published several communication channels in case leaks arise: “Reports must be made to the usual telephone numbers: 72045252 , 72045253, 72076769, by WhatsApp and by SMS to the number +5352809319, and through the Telegram channel: t.me/EGMATC, so that the specialists can visit the place and assess the situation.”
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