14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 13 June 2022 — A staircase collapsed on Monday afternoon, leaving a resident trapped in a three-story multi-family building located on Luz street between Curazao and Egido in Old Havana. Firefighters arrived at the scene to help the elderly man who could not escape from the interior of the building, in addition to a strong police operation that cordoned off the area.
Moments before the collapse, the man, who lived in the apartment on the third floor, had gone up the stairs, according to several residents of the Havana municipality speaking to 14ymedio, and they also confirmed that no one was injured.
From a car with a crane, the firefighters accessed the balcony of the apartment to help the man, who shares the building with another family that lives one floor below. Then, both the man and the other inhabitants of the building were evacuated.
At the beginning of June, due to the intense rains that affected the west of the country, more than 60 building collapses were reported in Havana, one of which caused the death of two people.
During the afternoons in Havana this month it continues to rain and a few hours after a downpour on Wednesday of last week, a construction collapsed, specifically, the top floor of a three-story building in San Lázaro at the corner of Genios in Centro Habana.
“Luckily he was awake, because if was later, he’d be gone.” The residents of the place, gathered in front of the ruined building, commented last Thursday on the event in which no one died.
But the precarious housing conditions in this area of the capital have hundreds of inhabitants worried. Two women, who live in a building, also very deteriorated, near San Lázaro and Genios, affirmed that they are terrified, that they cannot sleep, that they also have no alternative housing and that, meanwhile, the Government is crossing its arms.
Both Old Havana and Central Habana report constant building collapses. In the vicinity of the Malecón, the buildings have especially suffered from the effects of saltpeter, which, together with the lack of maintenance, have turned the housing stock in the area into one of the most damaged in the Cuban capital. In addition, the successive programs launched by the Government have not resolved the increasingly frequent events.
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