HAVANA – A building partially collapsed in the Cuban capital Havana on Tuesday night, killing at least one person and leaving at least two others trapped beneath the rubble, the municipal government said.
The collapse in the Old Havana tourist district gutted the insides of the decrepit building that was home to 13 families and 54 people. It wrenched terraces off its facade and trapped many people beneath piles of rubble and rebar.
Rescuers worked into the daylight hours on Wednesday to find two people who remained in the wreckage following a second partial collapse early in the morning as wind and rain lashed the city.
One person had been killed and two others were hospitalized in critical condition, the municipal government said in a statement.
The building collapse is the latest in a series of disasters that have beset crisis-racked Cuba, including a gas explosion that destroyed Havana´s Saratoga Hotel in 2022 and a massive tank farm fire in Matanzas, an hour east of the capital, several months later.
The communist-run Caribbean island nation, ravaged by economic crisis, U.S. sanctions and floundering tourism, has acknowledged its inability to keep up with repairs and new construction, leaving its citizens in often dangerous and decrepit accomodations.
Construction minister Rene Mesa Villafaña said in September that more than 850,000 housing structures in Cuba were in need of maintenance and repair, and said the government was working to build new more adequate housing.