While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 7

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Gas leak blamed for blast at Havana hotel that kills nine

A deadly explosion hit a well-known hotel in downtown Havana on Friday, tearing a gash several floors high in the side of the building, killing at least nine people and sending another 30 to hospital, witnesses and state media said.

Speaking from the scene on Cuban television, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the blast at the historic Hotel Saratoga appeared to have been caused by a gas leak.

“In no case was it a bomb or an attack,” he later told Reuters, as he left the capital’s Calixto Garcia hospital, where many of the injured were treated.

‘It’s just a very unfortunate accident.”


Explosion in Madrid building kills two people, injures 18

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Two people died and at least 18 were injured in a strong explosion that rocked a four-storey building being renovated in central Madrid on Friday, Spanish authorities said.

Two men working on the building died in the explosion, Madrid's Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida said on Friday evening.

Of the 18 people hurt, most of the injuries were not serious, officials said.


Civilians evacuated in buses from besieged Mariupol steelworks

Twenty-five civilians including children were brought out by bus on Friday from the besieged Azovstal steel complex in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol to a camp in the Russian-controlled town of Bezimenne, with a further 23 reported to be on the way.

Reuters journalists saw two coaches arrive and evacuees being accompanied to the reception centre by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, which have been helping to organise the evacuations.

The tented reception camp in Bezimenne was flying the black-blue-red flag of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, whose independence is recognised only by Russia.


US probing deaths of 5 children linked to mystery liver disease

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 109 childhood cases of a mysterious form of hepatitis, including five reported deaths, the agency said on Friday.

"Investigators both here and abroad and around the globe are working hard to determine the cause," said Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases for the CDC.

Ninety per cent of the cases have involved hospitalisation, with 14 per cent requiring liver transplants. The majority fully recovered.


F1: Hamilton gets two race exemption from jewellery rule

Seven-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will race in Sunday’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix after Formula One swerved a showdown with the Mercedes driver over their ban on piercings and jewellery.

Race director Niels Wittich had issued a reminder to all teams and officials that wearing body piercings and metal neck chains was prohibited during competition for safety reasons and could be checked.

Hamilton, the sport’s most successful driver and biggest name in America, has said he cannot remove some of his piercings and had suggested on Friday that he could face a ban from racing.


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