Three people, including two firefighters, died in the collapse of a building in Havana where more than fifty people were staying, authorities announced Wednesday.

The two members of the fire brigade, a 40-year-old and a 23-year-old, died when they went to help evacuate the occupants after an initial partial collapse, according to a statement from the interior ministry.

Emergency and first aid services were dispatched to Old Havana, where the three-story building was located, around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday (local time; 06:00 yesterday Wednesday Greek time).

After entering the property, the two firefighters were killed when another part of it collapsed. Their bodies were recovered from the wreckage during the search operation, the ministry said.

The same source, according to the island’s state television, also confirmed the death of a 79-year-old resident who had been missing since the initial collapse.

Two injured people were taken to a hospital, however, their lives are not in danger.

Five trucks and a crane were deployed to the scene to support the rescue operation, an AFP reporter found.

A total of 55 people lived in the property, which was dilapidated and of which only the facade remained, according to Arnelis de la Candelaria Hernandez of the Old Havana Roofing Directorate.

In the absence of maintenance, buildings collapse relatively often in some old districts of the Cuban capital. The problem intensifies in the season of rains and typhoons (June-November).

Heavy rains have been recorded in Havana for the past few days.

According to the most recent official data available, 37% of Cuba’s 3.9 million homes were in poor to very poor condition at the end of 2020.

The government on the island, which is experiencing an economic crisis exacerbated by the US embargo and declining tourism, admits it is unable to make timely repairs or build new properties, meaning many residents are living in dangerous conditions.

Last year, a gas explosion destroyed Old Havana’s historic Saratoga Hotel, while a fire destroyed fuel tanks in Matanzas, an hour east of the capital.

In September, Construction Minister Rene Mesa Villafania said more than 850,000 buildings in Cuba needed maintenance and repairs, adding that President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s government was working to provide better housing conditions.