October 1, 2022
Cuba continues to fight massive oil tank fires |  Globalism

Cuba continues to fight massive oil tank fires | Globalism

With international help, Cuba continues to fight a massive fire that broke out three days ago in oil tanks that killed at least one person, left 16 missing and injured dozens.

In the early hours of Monday morning (8), pictures of social networks showed explosions. According to local press reports, the Civil Defense confirms the collapse of the second burning tank, which may cause explosions.

On Sunday, relatives of the missing met President Miguel Diaz-Canel at a hotel in the city of Matanzas. The accident took place at the base of Supertanqueros, in the industrial belt of the municipality, which has a population of 144,000, located 105 kilometers from the capital, Havana.

Of the 122 injured initially reported, 24 are still in hospital, five of whom are in critical condition, according to the medical staff.

The body of firefighter Juan Carlos Santana, 60, was buried Saturday, with honors, in his hometown of Rodas, in the neighboring province of Cienfuegos.

The fire broke out on Friday afternoon when lightning struck one of the tanks in the depot, which held 26,000 cubic meters of domestic oil, about 50% of its maximum capacity.

Smoke from a fire in Matanzas, Cuba, on August 6, 2022 – Photo: Alexandre Menegini/Reuters

This reservoir, via a gas pipeline, feeds the Antonio Guitras Thermal Power Plant, which was out of service on May 24 for a few days, when another lightning strike damaged its structure.

At night, the fire spread to a second tank, as a result of which it exploded with 52 thousand cubic meters of fuel oil.

Authorities coordinated work on Sunday with Mexican and Venezuelan brigade officials who arrived Saturday night to help put out the fire.

Cuba fails to control the fire of the largest oil depot on the island

Four Mexican planes and one Venezuelan plane landed at the airport in the popular resort of Varadero, about 40 kilometers north of Matanzas, with material and technical assistance.

The massive plume of smoke stretching all the way to Havana looked narrower on Sunday, and the air pollution dissipated.

Volunteers from the local Red Cross waited at a relief point about 150 meters from the tank base, and fire trucks were constantly moving towards the fire area.