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Cuba declares state of emergency after fuel depot fire
Lightning struck a fuel storage tank near the town of Matanzas on Friday night, and a second tank caught fire on Saturday, the island’s government said.
Emergency services are working to extinguish the fire 17 firefighters and less 121 woundedThree of them are in critical condition.
The Cuban president said on Twitter that unaccounted for firefighters were “in the immediate vicinity, trying to prevent the spread”.
nearby Around 1,000 people have been expelledMatanzas Governor, Mario Sabines said
Officials in the province, 130 km from the country’s capital, Havana, reported on Twitter that there had been several explosions.
“There is no concrete information on the extent of the incident, but it will undoubtedly be there One of the saddest accidents“.
Television images showed helicopters spraying seawater and sand on the burning area to try to stop the fire from spreading, and efforts to cool the remaining tanks and prevent possible explosions.
A. in crude deposits The capacity is 50,000 cubic meters each one. This is comparable to 15 Olympic swimming pools.
They are located at the Supertanker site in the nearby industrial area of Matanzas Thermoelectric Antonio GuiterasOne of the largest in Cuba.
The base has a lightning rod system, but the discharge was too much to protect it, Rigel Rodríguez, director of the Matanzas regional division of fuel marketing, explained to the official Cubadebate site.
How did the fire start?
The fire started around 7:00 pm local time (23:00 GMT) on Friday when an electrical leak tripped one of the tanks.
Strong winds made firefighting difficult and a second deposit erupted at 07:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Saturday.
The fire was not brought under control till Saturday afternoon.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, “They don’t Background “There was such a huge fire at the supertanker deck”. He called on other countries to help put out the fire.
The President and other members of the government visited the injured at Faustino Pérez de Matanzas Provincial Hospital.
“Most of the injuries were burns to the lower limbs, necks of firefighters, workers from different areas and troops who worked to put out the fire, above all,” the official newspaper Granma’s website said.
Support from other countries
Using the hashtag #FuerzaMatanzas, President Díaz-Canel tweeted on Saturday afternoon thanking countries that heeded his call for help.
“We are deeply grateful to the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina, and Chile for their immediate and concrete material assistance in the face of this critical situation. We appreciate the technical advice of the United States.” The President wrote.
Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cocio wrote on Twitter that the US government “provided technical advice, already placed in the hands of experts for proper coordination.”
“We greatly appreciate the condolences and assistance from various organizations and people from the United States because of the incident in Matanzas,” the vice chancellor said.
The US Embassy in Havana explained in two tweets in Spanish and English that their country could help the Caribbean nation.
“We are in contact with Cuba regarding the incident in Matanzas. In the meantime, we want to clarify that US law authorizes US companies and organizations to provide disaster relief and response in Cuba.”
For their part, Cuban and Mexican media reported this Saturday that state company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) would support the Cuban government in fire control measures.
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