After the explosion of the Hotel Saratoga in Havana, five farmers arrived at the scene of the disaster to collaborate with the search and rescue of survivors.
Once the work was completed, which confirmed the death of 46 people For the incident, reporters and witnesses of the event thanked the dogs, especially Dianko, who suffered an injury in the rubble of the collapsed building, and Rocky, internationally recognized for his performance in other disasters such as the earthquake that shook Ecuador in 2016.
The Cuban government also recognized Rocky, and reported that this 12-year-old dog has participated in more than 20 operational search and location services; and in internationalist missions.
“The dog, weighing about 25 kilograms, is the star of the Canine Unit of the National Special Brigade located in Havana, where everyone admires him. Rocky, despite being almost 12 years old, is in incredible physical shape and fully maintains the use of its olfactory abilities,” stressed the People’s Power of the province of Matanzas.
“His sense of smell is such that he can identify a body that is trapped in rubble or buried underground to a depth of between 6 and 7 meters,” confessed Rocky’s trainer, a rescue expert in canine technique named Glover.
Also, the portal Cubadebate He stressed that it is an internationalist dog. “Rocky has a fine nose, vast experience and exceptional talent,” which made “he was recognized with honors during the rescue efforts in Ecuador after the earthquake in 2016,” said the official media in a recent chronicle.
The reporter from Radio Havana Cuba Dayron Caballero, for his part, reported that Dianko was trained by Aliesky Mota, from the 15th Command of the Special Rescue and Salvage Detachment.
“Dianko was slightly injured during the rescue and rescue operations that correspond to the first day of debris removal and search for life, after the explosion of the Saratoga Hotel. He is now healthy, thanks to the prompt attention,” he explained.
He claims that this black Labrador does not bite and is affectionate, just like Rocky.
“They are part of this history that all of Cuba is experiencing,” Caballero said, referring to the four-legged rescuers.
A total of five dogs worked in the rescue work at the collapsed facility: Dianko, Tito, Xila, Yomy and Rockyconsidered Heroes of Saratoga by the regime.
They arrived immediately after the explosion occurred last Friday, in an attempt to rescue as many survivors as possible. After the first few hours no one was found alive, despite the fact that the search continued until Thursday, when the body of the last missing person was found.
Members of the Red Cross highlighted on Sunday that the presence of the dogs was “very important, because they can detect a person under 3 or 4 meters of rubble.”
Likewise, Mota explained that “the search with the dogs is more effective. They have no technological or other substitute for their work capacity and the time-result relationship.”
He said that when the dog barks it is a sign that the person under the rubble may still be alive, and that the animals have received daily training for several years to work in an unnatural environment.
He reported that the dogs are trained with exercises that include games with balls and sweets, until the reflection of the search for people is created.
On Sunday, when the international day of the Red Cross was celebrated, the members of this rescue group in Cuba highlighted the work of the dogs and said that “the animals trained in the search for people have been very important” after the explosion of the hotel, presumably caused by a gas leak.
The search efforts in the Saratoga culminated on Thursday, after the discovery of the last missing person, a 27-year-old woman who worked as a waitress at the tourist facility.
In the afternoon, the rescuers and their dogs returned to their homes, while the Havana regime decreed national mourning for the tragedy.