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17 missing, dozens injured in fire at Cuban oil tank farm

Fires started by lightning strikes at an oil storage facility raged out of control in the city of Matanzas on Saturday, with four explosions and flames injuring nearly 80 people and 17 firefighters, according to Cuban officials. has gone missing.

Firefighters and other experts were trying to extinguish a fire at the Matanzas supertanker base, which broke out during a thunderstorm Friday night, the Ministry of Energy and Mines tweeted. The government later said it sought help from international experts from “friendly countries” with experience in the oil sector.

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The official Cuban news agency said lightning struck one tank, causing it to catch fire and the flames later spreading to a second tank. A thick column of smoke billowed from the facility and stretched over 100 kilometers (62 miles) west toward Havana.

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According to the Matanzas government Facebook page, 77 people have been injured and 17 are still missing. The Republic’s presidential office said the 17 were “firefighters who were in the nearest neighborhoods trying to contain the spread.”

The accident happened at a time when Cuba was suffering from a fuel shortage. There is no immediate announcement on how much oil has burned or is at risk at the storage facility, which has eight huge tanks that store oil used to fuel power plants. was.

“I was in the gym when I felt the first explosion. “This town smells strongly of sulfur.”

Members of the Cuban Red Cross prepare to be transported to the Matazanas supertanker base where firefighters are working to contain the flames that began during the previous night’s thunderstorm in Matazanas, Cuba, Saturday, August 6, 2022. Cuban officials said the storage facility went out of control on Saturday, with four explosions and flames in which he injured nearly 80 people and left more than a dozen firefighters missing.

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Authorities said the Dubrok neighborhood closest to the fire had been evacuated, but Gonzalez added that some people had decided to leave the Versailles neighborhood, a short distance from the tank yard.

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Dozens of ambulances, police and fire engines were seen in the streets of Matanzas, a city of about 140,000 people on Matanzas Bay.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel headed to the scene of the fire early Saturday morning, officials said.

Local meteorologist Elier Pila showed satellite images of the area with a dense plume of black smoke moving west from the spot of the fire and reaching Havana in the east.

“The plume could be nearly 150 kilometers long,” Pila wrote on his Twitter account.

© 2022 Canadian Press



17 missing, dozens injured in fire at Cuban oil tank farm

Source link 17 missing, dozens injured in fire at Cuban oil tank farm

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