A lethal explosion caused by a gas leak when the hotel was being served in the morning of Friday 6th killed 46 and wounded 53, of whom 13 are still in hospital. They were Saratoga workers, neighbors from a nearby building, students from a close by school and passersby.
The powerful blast practically destroyed the hotel and caused damaged to buildings nearby including the historical Marti Theater.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other national and local authorities headed the vigil called for by the Young Communist League at Fraternity Park which is across the hotel under the motto “Always with us”.
Exactly at 21:00 hour local time the whole country observed a minute’s silence to pay homage to all the victims. Just the soft tune of a violin was heard during the violin.
People brought candles and flowers, and solemnly and orderly put them at a site where wooden placards with photos of the dead were placed on the avenue in front of the hotel. Relatives and friends of the victims were also present.
Saratoga workers were giving the final touches to reopen the hotel on Tuesday 10th after two years closed due the Covid-19 pandemic when the explosion occurred.
President Diaz-Canel told the media on Friday afternoon that a thorough investigation is being completed to avoid similar accidents in the future.
Tourism authorities said the Saratoga will be rebuilt exactly as it was.