Highlights

  • Havana Hotel explosion death toll reaches 22
  • 1 child also died in the fire
  • 74 people injured

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Firefighters to continued rescue work to recover more bodies buried under the rubble. The fire has left 74 injured

Twenty-two people, including a child, have been killed after a powerful explosion apparently caused by a natural gas leak that blew away outer walls from a luxury hotel in the heart of Cuba's capital.

Firefighters continued work through the night in an attempt to recover more bodies buried under the rubble of Hotel Saratoga in Havana.

No tourists were staying at Havana's 96-room Hotel Saratoga because it was undergoing renovations and was to reopen on May 10.

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The Health Ministry said the number of injured could rise as the search continues for people who may be trapped in the rubble of the 19th century structure in the Old Havana neighbourhood of the city.

Head of Havana Hospital Services, Julio Guerra said the health system is ready to care for all the 74 people who were injured in the explosion and that the identity of those who were killed will be known in the next few hours.

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