The blast occurred when a tanker truck laden with liquefied gas was serving the hotel, which was about to reopen. A gas leak when the hotel was being served caused the explosion.
The shock wave destroyed the facades of the three lower floors of the building and affected 23 buildings in the area, including 17 homes.
Rescuers, firefighters, and specialized personnel immediately began removing debris and searching for trapped people, while the injured were taken to several hospitals in Havana.
After the search for bodies and the rescue operations were completed, President Miguel Diaz-Canel decreed official mourning on May 13 and 14, and the capital’s youth, convened by the Young Communist League (UJC), held a vigil at Fraternity Park, which is across from the hotel.