Havana, AP. The death toll in a massive explosion at a luxury hotel in the Cuban capital Havana has risen to 40 on Monday evening. Dr Julio Guerra, the head of hospital services at the health ministry, told a news conference that more bodies had been recovered in the past few hours. He said 18 people injured in Friday’s explosion at the 19th-century Hotel Saratoga were still in hospital. A search team with dogs is looking for debris at a hotel in the Cuban capital.

Blast in hotel on Friday

The 96-room five-star Hotel Saratoga in Havana was exploded last Friday. This 19th-century hotel is located in Old Havana. Repair work was going on there at the time of the blast. The 96-room, five-star hotel in Old Havana was preparing to reopen after being closed for two years. The hotel was planned to be opened on Tuesday. As well as the historic Marty Theater and Calvary Baptist Church, several buildings surrounding the hotel were also damaged in the blast.

Many people injured in the accident

The Interior Ministry said that four minors, a pregnant woman and a Spanish national were among the dead. 54 people have been injured in the accident, out of which 24 are hospitalised. The country’s tourism ministry said 51 employees were inside the hotel at the time of the blast.

As of Saturday evening, 19 families had reported missing their loved ones, but officials did not report any trace of them on Sunday. This hotel belongs to ‘Grupo di Turismo Gaviota SA’. Officials said the cause of the blast is being ascertained, which is believed to be caused by a gas leak.

Edited By: Babli Kumari