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The explosion of a fuel tank in Cuba leaves almost 80 injured

2022-08-06T21:48:58.005Z

At least 17 firefighters are missing after a fire caused by the impact of lightning in a crude oil storage tank in the city of Matanzas.



A fire caused by the impact of lightning in a crude oil storage tank in the Cuban city of Matanzas caused four explosions and injured at least 77 people, officials and official agencies reported this Saturday.

At least 17 firefighters are missing, according to the Government of Matanzas.

Dr. Taymí Martinez Naranjo, general director of the Faustino Pérez provincial hospital, confirmed that among the injured there are three in critical condition, three in extreme critical condition and 12 in serious condition.

Those affected are mostly members of the emergency teams that were working to extinguish the flames of the fire.

No deaths have been confirmed and three local journalists who were covering the news were also injured, but they are out of danger.

Lightning caused a fire in a crude oil tank at a fuel base in Cuba. Provincial Government of People's Power in Matanzas

The country's president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and his prime minister, Manuel Marrero, traveled to Matanzas at dawn to closely follow the evolution of the event and visited the wounded in the hospital.

The US embassy in Havana said on Twitter that it was aware of the situation and authorized the sending of aid to the island.

The Cuban president thanked on Twitter for the assistance offered by Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile and the "technical advice" of the United States.

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The governor, Mario Sabines, reported that around 800 people have been evacuated from neighborhoods near the affected industrial area, due to the risk of the flames spreading.

A large column of thick black smoke is spreading from the scene, covering Matanzas and reaching Havana, 62 miles (100 km) away.

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The incident began on Friday night, when an electrical storm occurred in the area of ​​the Matanzas Supertanker Base, the Ministry of Energy and Mines said on Twitter.

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The fire could not be put out despite the work of firefighters and specialists, so it continued even on Saturday, also involving the adjoining containers.

“I was in the gym when I felt the first explosion.

A column of smoke and terrible fire rose through the skies,

” Adiel González, a 32-year-old language graduate and resident of Matanzas, told The Associated Press news agency.

"The city has a strong smell of sulfur,"

he added.

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González said he heard two more explosions in the early hours and they sounded "like bombs."

The authorities indicated that the closest neighborhood to the affected area, the Dubrocq neighborhood, was evacuated, but González added that some people decided to move away from another, called Versalles and a little further from the Supertanker Base.

There were many ambulances, police and fire vehicles everywhere.

The city of Matanzas has about 140,000 inhabitants.

According to the Cuban News Agency, the impacted container was at 50% of its capacity and the lightning rod that the base had could not protect the power of the discharge.

The fire subsequently spread to a second tank.

With information from Efe and AP.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-08-06

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