Building collapses in Havana, leaving 3 dead and at least 2 others injured

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A building in the historic centre of Havana that housed 13 families partially collapsed, leaving three people dead and at least two injured, Cuban authorities said Wednesday.

Authorities in Havana said that among the three fatalities were one resident and two firefighters who got trapped in the building when they were helping evacuate people.

A part of the three-storey building collapsed Tuesday’s night, and other sections crumbled early Wednesday.

While the reason for the collapse was not immediately known, the area has several aging buildings that lack maintenance and deteriorate in tropical rains, like those currently hitting the island.

Alexis Acosta Silva, mayor of Old Havana, told local media there were 54 people in the building at the time of the collapse. Families were evacuated to a nearby school, and no damage was reported to surrounding buildings.

Poor maintenance of existing residential buildings and the slow rate of building new ones have been top complaints among Cuba’s citizens.

Cuba’s Director of Housing Vivian Rodriguez said this week that the island has a housing deficit of 800 homes, especially in the provinces of Havana, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey.

Government figures from 2020 showed Cuba had 3.9 million homes. Of these, nearly 40 per cent were in fair and poor condition.

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