Horror images from Cuba show huge five-star hotel obliterated in explosion – eight dead

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The explosion took place in the Cuban capital of Havana, with officials stating at least 13 people are missing. 

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the explosion at The Hotel Saratoga wasn’t due to a bombing.

He added that authorities are investigating the cause, although said it may be due to a gas leak. 

CNN Havana bureau chief Patrick Oppman tweeted pictures of the chaotic scene, adding that the area around the “iconic hotel” was “a horrible scene of destruction”.

Mr Diaz-Canel said via Twitter: “So far 8 people have died and thirty are hospitalized.

“Several people offer blood donations.”

Search and rescue is currently underway for anyone who may be trapped in the rubble.

The president’s office said Old Havana Mayor Alexis Acosta Silva informed them that the children from a school near the hotel were evacuated, and none were hurt.

Mother-of-two Yazira de la Caridad told Sky News the explosion shook her home a block from the hotel.

She said: “The whole building moved. I thought it was an earthquake.

“I’ve still got my heart in my hand”.

The Hotel Satoga is a 19th-century structure in the historic area of Old Havana.

It contains bars, restaurants, a spa, a gym and a rooftop pool, according to its website.

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