At least 17 missing and 80 injured in fire in Cuban port


The massive fire proclaimed Friday at the supertanker port in the Cuban city of Matanzas, some 80 kilometers east of Havana, left nearly 80 injured, three of them in critical condition and 17 missing firefighters.

Cuban media reported that the fire was caused by the explosion of up to four of the eight existing fuel tanks in the area, apparently struck by lightning, which fueled the flames that caused burns to many of the injured. Facing the “imminent danger of the spread of toxic gases”, the local government of Matanzas ordered “the mass evacuation of the densest populations” to the epicenter of the industrial zone of the tragedy.

Several aircraft poured seawater and sand over the burned area to prevent the flames from spreading to other fuel depots, and physical barriers were placed like firebreaks to protect the dock and nearby neighborhoods.

“It may take some time to put out the fire,” the country’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, stressed on Twitter, while Cuba-Petroleum Union (Cupet State) Director of Commerce and Supply, Asbel Leal, indicated that the island will never have had to deal with a fire of “the magnitude we have today”. In fact, Havana is already coordinating with the United States to deliver Washington’s aid offer.

Source: La Verdad


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