17 lacking, dozens injured as fireplace rages at Cuban oil tank farm OLASMEDIA TV NEWSThat is what we’ve for you immediately:
A hearth attributable to a lightning strike at an oil storage facility raged uncontrollably within the metropolis of Matanzas on Saturday, the place 4 explosions and flames injured almost 80 folks, Cuban authorities stated. Seventeen firefighters are lacking.
Firefighters and different specialists had been nonetheless making an attempt to place out the blaze on the Matanzas Supertanker Base, the place the blaze began throughout a thunderstorm Friday night time, the Division of Power and Mines tweeted. The federal government later stated it requested for assist from worldwide consultants in ‘pleasant international locations’ with expertise within the oil sector.
The official Cuban information company stated lightning struck one tank, inflicting a hearth, and the blaze later unfold to a second tank. As army helicopters flew overhead, dropping water onto the blaze, a thick column of black smoke billowed from the power and unfold greater than 100 kilometers (62 miles) west towards Havana.
Employees of the Cuba Oil Union, identified by its Spanish acronym CUPET, have a look at an enormous plume of smoke from the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters work to place out a hearth that began throughout a thunderstorm the night time earlier than, in Matazanas, Cuba, Saturday, August 6, 2022. Cuban authorities say lightning struck a crude oil storage tank on the base, sparking a hearth that led to 4 explosions that injured greater than 50 folks.
Ramon Espinosa / AP
Roberto de la Torre, chief of firefighters in Matanzas, stated firefighters sprayed water on intact tanks to maintain them cool in hopes of stopping the fireplace from spreading.
The Matanzas provincial authorities’s Fb web page stated the variety of injured had reached 77, whereas 17 folks had been lacking. The republic’s presidency stated the 17 had been “firefighters who had been within the nearest space to forestall the unfold”.
Seven of the injured had been taken to Calixto García Hospital in Havana, which has a distinguished burns unit.
The incident comes as Cuba struggles with gasoline shortages. There was no quick report on how a lot oil had been burned or endangered on the storage facility, which has eight big tanks of oil used to gasoline energy vegetation.
“I used to be on the gymnasium once I felt the primary explosion. A column of smoke and horrible fireplace rose by the air,” resident Adiel Gonzalez advised The Related Press by cellphone. “The town has a powerful sulfur odor.”
A helicopter carrying water flies over the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters try to put out the blaze that began the night time earlier than throughout a thunderstorm in Matazanas, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022.
Ramon Espinosa / AP
Authorities stated the Dubrocq neighborhood closest to the fireplace had been evacuated, whereas Gonzalez added that some folks determined to go away the Versailles neighborhood, which is a bit of farther from the tank farm.
Many ambulances, police and fireplace vans had been seen on the streets of Matanzas, a metropolis of about 140,000 inhabitants and positioned on Matnzas Bay.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to the world of the fireplace early Saturday, officers stated.
Native meteorologist Elier Pila confirmed satellite tv for pc photos of the world with a dense plume of black smoke transferring west from the tip of the fireplace and reaching east to Havana.
“That plume may very well be nearly 150 kilometers lengthy,” Pila wrote on his Twitter account.
Folks watch an enormous plume of smoke rising from the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters attempt to put out a blaze that began the night time earlier than throughout a thunderstorm in Matazanas, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022.
Ramon Espinosa / AP