Hotel fire kills five, owner flees from police
Hotel Las Águilas in Santiago de Puriscal burned to the ground early Friday morning killing five people. The three surviving occupants, including the hotel manager, jumped out of a second story balcony to safety.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined, but investigators suspect it was related to the hotel’s dangerous electrical system.
Last December the Ministry of Health declared the hotel uninhabitable because of the old building’s aging wood construction. The ministry gave the hotel owner, José Giovanni Quesada Quirós 20 days to vacate and the follow up inspection was set for Monday.
Lawyers from the Ministry of Health are looking at the case to establish the fault of the incident. In addition to investigating the hotel owner, the ministry is also looking at the local government of Puriscal to determine possible negligence.
The fire also caused damage to surrounding stores. The National Insurance Institute (INS, in Spanish) confirmed that there were no policies taken out on the hotel.
You may be interested
Morning-after pill can now be sold without a prescription in Costa RicaAlejandro Zúñiga - May 18, 2019
Levonorgestrel, marketed commercially as "Plan B" and commonly known as the morning-after pill, can legally be sold without a prescription…
Pic of the Day: A busy day in San JoséThe Tico Times - May 18, 2019
Costa Rica wants to reorganize its chaotic transport system and start decarbonizing its economy with a modern electric train through…
MINAE raises alarm about drug trafficking in Costa Rica’s protected landRita Valverde / Semanario Universidad - May 17, 2019
The Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE) has requested assistance from the Public Security Ministry in the face of increased drug…