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Building Collapse in Havana: One Dead and Serious Injuries

Building Collapse in Havana: One Dead and Serious Injuries / Martha
Beatriz Roque Cabello
Posted on February 10, 2014

Rosario Alvarez, 96, who died in the collapse, had repeatedly complained
to the authorities that her home was in the process of falling down.

HAVANA, Cuba. – At 6:30 in the evening on February 7, the partial
collapse of a three-story residential building at No. 5 San Carlos,
between Morell and Iznago in the Santos Suarez neighborhood, 10th of
October municipality in the city of Havana, caused the death of Mr.
Rosario Alvarez Alvarez, age 96, who was sitting in the dining room of
her apartment when the incident occurred.

The original information was provided to the Network of Community
Communicators by the victim’s great granddaughter, Jessica Almeri Canal,
age 14, a junior high school student, who was in another room in the
house and was unharmed.

According to the source, the dining room floor of the apartment on the
top floor gave way and fell on Alvarez Alvarez’s apartment and, as a
result of the impact, she fell into the garage on ground floor of the

Álvarez Álvarez remained under the rubble for five hours before being
found dead by rescuers. Her lifeless body covered with bruises was taken
directly to Legal Medicine for the autopsy. The family members of the
victim were doubly outraged because the official cause of death,
according to the Legal Medicine authorities was a “heart attack.”

The was a wake for the body at the Santa Catalina and Juan Bruno Zayas
funeral home, in the Havana neighborhood of Santos Suárez, and burial
was scheduled for 4 pm on Saturday.

More serious injuries

Sitting in the room where the collapse occurred was a young woman,
family of the victim, who miraculously suffered no serious injuries, and
her son Diego Rodríguez Antonio Amador, age 2.

The boy suffered serious injuries to his face, knocking his eye out of
its orbit and his cheekbones were operated on. As of now he is in
intensive care at Juan Manuel Marquez Children’s Hospital, located on
Ave. 31 and 76, Marianao, Havana, and his condition is reported as serious.

Another victim who was in the building is Bárbara Danay Canal Aramburu,
whose scalp was torn off and who suffered fractures in her left arm.
Canal Aramburu had emergency surgery and remains hospitalized at the
Calixto Garcia Hospital, Havana, reported as serious.

Also in the room was in Mrs. Lidian Juana Quevedo Quevedo, 54,
grandmother of the child, which is also at Calixto Garcia Hospital.

The Director of Calixto Garcia and the President of the municipal
government, who presented himself at the Hospital were talking to the
victim’s great-granddaughter — source of this information — to inquire
about the situation.

We have not been able to obtain images of the disaster because the place
is occupied by officials and senior military and access to the site is
not allowed.


On 17 January this year, Julia Estrella Aramburu, a reporter for the
Network of Community Communicators, had published in Redecilla, the
Network’s newsletter, a note of complaint warning that this building was
in the imminent danger of collapse.

The complaint was made by the victim who is now dead, in the hopes that
the authorities would stop ignoring her pleas for help and do something
about it before the disaster, which happened yesterday, finally occurred.

Following is the full text of that report in Redecilla :

Partial Collapse

By: Julia Estrella Aramburo Taboas

The lady of 96, Rosario Álvarez Álvarez, living at No. 5 San Carlos
Street between Morell and Iznagas, in the neighborhood of Santos Suárez,
10th of October municipality, wanted to tell us her sad story.

She is a pensioner and has repeatedly complained to the President of the
government of the municipality about the condition of her, which is in
danger of collapse: already there has been a collapse with the roof of
one of the rooms falling in. As a result of this the neighbor on the top
floor fell, but fortunately was not injured.

The answer I got last December 22 was that they would go to visit in
early January to see what they could do with her case, but so far
nothing has happened and the house of the the elderly lady Rosario is
slowly collapsing.

8 February 2014

Source: Building Collapse in Havana: One Dead and Serious Injuries /
Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello | Translating Cuba –

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