This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.
The Saratoga Hotel in the Cuban capital city of Havana was heavily damaged by an explosion on Friday. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.
Multiple people were reportedly killed and wounded in the explosion, which collapsed sections of the hotel. Videos taken near the hotel showed some of the damage to the building.
“NEW – a massive explosion just destroyed the entire front end of the Saratoga Hotel in #Havana, #Cuba,” tweeted foreign policy analyst Charles Lister. “Locals say multiple casualties — dead & wounded.”
Vehicles near the hotel were also reportedly destroyed.
CNN correspondent Patrick Oppmann tweeted, “Video of Hotel Saratoga in Havana right now.”
Another video appeared to show people trying to rescue those trapped in the rubble of the hotel.
The damage to the building send a plume of smoke and dust into the air, which was visible from some distance.
The exact extent of the damage at the Saratoga Hotel is not immediately clear. At around 1:20 p.m. ET, NBC correspondent Morgan Radford tweeted, “#Cuban state media reports 8 people have died in Hotel #Saratoga explosion in #Havana, #Cuba.”
According to Havana Radio, Saratoga Hotel was built in around 1933 and has been considered a key historic location in the city. The building was renovated and reopened in 2005. CNN reported the hotel had 96 hotel rooms.