An obvious gas explosion destroyed a hotel on Friday (Photo: Reuters / Rex / Getty)

Among the 30 dead were a pregnant woman, a Spanish tourist and four minors an explosion at a luxury hotel in Cuba.

Search teams with dogs hunted for the ruins of a five-star Saratoga hotel, searching for survivors of an apparent gas explosion.

The 96-room hotel in Old Havana was preparing to open to guests after it closed two years before the crash on Friday.

Today, Cuban authorities have increased the known death toll from 27 to 30.

The blast cut off the building’s exterior walls and damaged several nearby buildings, including the Marty’s Historical Theater and the Calvary Baptist Church, the denomination’s headquarters in western Cuba.

The Ministry of Health reported that 84 people were injured.

About 24 people remain in hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health.

On Saturday, a spokesman for Grupo de Turismo Gaviota, who owns the hotel, said 13 of its employees were missing.

Gov. Reynaldo Garcia Zapata said Saturday night that 19 families had reported the disappearance of loved ones and that rescue efforts would continue.

Ambulance workers gather in front of the Saratoga Hotel the day after the explosion (Photo: Reuters)
The hotel walls were torn off (Photo: Rex)
Rescuers remove debris from the ruins of the Saratoga Hotel (Photo: Getty)
Emergency workers retrieve body found under rubble (Photo: Reuters)
Search and rescue teams are looking for missing victims in the ruins of the Saratoga Hotel (Photo: Getty)
In the photo of destroyed cars after the explosion (Photo: Reuters)

Authorities say the cause of the blast is still being investigated, but believe the cause of the blast was a gas leak. A big crane on Saturday lifted a charred fuel truck from under the rubble.

Brigades worked to clean the surrounding streets, and yesterday late yesterday pedestrians were able to pass again.

This is another blow to Cuba’s tourism industry. Even before the coronavirus pandemic released tourists, the country struggled with tougher sanctions imposed by former Donald Trump and maintained by the Biden administration.

These are limited visits by American tourists to the islands and restrictions on Cuban money transfers to the U.S. to their families in Cuba.

Tourism began to revive earlier this year, but the war in Ukraine led to a boom in Russian visitors, who last year accounted for nearly a third of tourists in Cuba.

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Death toll after explosion at luxury Havana hotel now at least 30

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