2 men from Florida injured in crash in Havana

Car's steering system malfunction causes crash leaving 4 dead, authorities say

By Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

HAVANA, Cuba - Two men from Florida were injured in a car crash that left four dead and 19 others injured after midnight Sunday in Havana's El Vedado neighborhood. 

The two U.S. citizens -- ages 19 and 20 --  suffered orthopedic injuries when the driver of an antique car plowed into a crowd at the popular Malecón boulevard at 23rd Avenue. An air ambulance is flying them to South Florida on Monday. 

Cuban authorities identified the victims who died as 21-year-old Yurislandy Martínez Calvo, Franklin Baket Hernández, Osmany González Claro and Ulises Canales López, a reporter with the state-owned Prensa Latina agency.

The injured were at the Docente Clínico Quirúrgico Calixto García Hospital, the Juan Manuel Márquez Pediatric Hospital and the Salvador Allende Hospital in Havana. 

State-owned newspaper Granma identified one of the injured as Rafael Pantoja Reyes. A doctor at the pediatric hospital said a 12-year-old boy is in intensive care and a 16-year-old girl suffered cuts.

The vintage car, known as an "Almendrón," suffered a technical malfunction in the steering system when the driver lost control of the car, authorities said. The area has a speed limit of about 35 miles per hour.  

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