Cuba: Building collapse kills 4

Havana Times headline: Cuba Building Collapse Leaves 4 Dead

The Miami Herald has details,

The tragedy occurred at about 9:30 p.m. in a residential neighborhood known as Cayo Hueso, where the vast majority of buildings and multi-family homes are in poor condition.

Some buildings have been declared uninhabitable by the Cuban authorities, although the families refuse to leave due to the country’s housing shortage.

The collapse mobilized dozens of paramedics and firefighters, as well as agents of State Security and specialized forces of the Interior Ministry’s construction section, according to Roberto de Jesús Guerra, director of Let’s Talk Press, an organization of dissidents in Havana. On Wednesday, the area was cordoned off by police and closed to vehicular traffic while workers examined the rubble.

“Unfortunately, what’s left of the building is only two walls. The rest fell apart,” Guerra said. According to local radio reports, six were injured in the collapse; four had to be rushed to Calixto Garcia hospital.

Emergency crews rescued two residents who lived on the second floor and had been trapped.

However, witnesses and emergency personnel who participated in the rescue and debris removal told El Nuevo Herald the death toll, initially put at three,could rise to as many as seven.

Yoani Sanchez writes,

So far, the official media have reported three dead and six injured in the collapse on Infanta Street. People who lived the last years of their lives looking up and calculating the time left to the rafters, fearing what finally happened. How many others in this capital run the same risk tomorrow? What urgent solution will be applied so that these tragedies won’t continue to be a part of our daily landscape? We will not accept a response in the style of, “We are studying the issue in order to apply solutions in a gradual way.” Nor do we now fault the inhabitants themselves, who stayed in an uninhabitable place. Where could they go? Instead, we demand that the State construct, repair, protect us.

A demand that falls on deaf ears.

While Cuba loses hundreds of historic buildings from neglect, apparently the Communist regime is building a grand tomb to Fidel.

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