The fire is spreading in the port of Matanzas as the black smoke cloud has already reached two other provinces
The worst fears materialized yesterday at the Matanzas fuel storage base in western Cuba, when a third tank exploded. Official media and witnesses broadcast live the moment a giant flash preceded a column of fire and black smoke rising tens of meters. The explosion exacerbated the work of emergency services, with “three warehouses on fire” and a “fairly large” fire area, provincial governor Mario Sabines reported.
As army helicopters dropped seawater, firefighters opened the way to facilitate access by specialized brigades from Mexico and Venezuela, who are working together to fight the fires. Sabines explained that despite the third tank collapsing, after the second tank poured fuel on it, “it’s not all bad news.” He pointed out that “a large hydraulic pump” has been started and “equipment to launch foam” has been installed.
In any case, the fears were far from gone because the cloud of black smoke, in addition to Matanzas, has already spread to the provinces of Mayabeque, raising the risk of respiratory diseases, as the newspaper “Granma” reported.
The government yesterday increased the 125 people needing medical attention since the first tank burned down on Friday when it was apparently struck by lightning. One dead and 16 missing have also been confirmed, nearly all firefighters who were surprised by the explosion of the second tank as they battled the flames of the first explosion. Likewise, authorities have indicated that approximately 5,000 people have been evacuated from the vicinity of the crash site.
Source: La Verdad