Photo: Confirmed Deaths from Cuba Building Collapse Rises to 4
Three women and a man died and five others were injured when a building collapsed in the densely populated Centro Habana neighborhood of the Cuban capital, official media said.
The media initially reported Wednesday morning that three people had died and six were injured.
The three-story building was declared uninhabitable several years ago, but several families continued to live in the structure, area residents told Efe.
Havana firefighters, the National Police, health services personnel and local authorities participated through Wednesday morning in search-and-rescue efforts at the site, which was cordoned off to passing traffic.
State television said four of the five injured people were still hospitalized and are listed in stable condition.
The building’s third floor gave way shortly after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, one of the residents, 23-year-old Teresa Reve Lopez, told Efe, adding that she barely had time to grab her two young daughters and dash out onto the street.
Authorities have tried several times to clear people from the dilapidated structure, neighbors said.
Cuba, a nation of 11.2 million people, had a housing shortfall of roughly 600,000 units in 2010, partly as a result of the damage caused by three hurricanes that pounded the Communist-ruled island in 2008.
More than half the buildings in Cuba are in disrepair, according to official figures.