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HomeNewsLightning units off hearth at Cuban oil tank farm, dozens harm

Lightning units off hearth at Cuban oil tank farm, dozens harm


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HAVANA — Lightning struck a crude oil storage tank within the metropolis of Matanzas, inflicting a spreading hearth that led to 4 explosions which injured almost 80 individuals and left 17 firefighters lacking, Cuban authorities mentioned Saturday.

Firefighters and different specialists had been nonetheless making an attempt to quell the blaze on the Matanzas Supertanker Base, which started throughout a thunderstorm Friday night time, the Ministry of Vitality and Mines tweeted.

The official Cuban Information Company mentioned the lightning strike set one tank on hearth and the blaze later unfold to a second tank.

The Fb web page of the provincial authorities of Matanzas mentioned the variety of injured had reached 77, whereas 17 individuals had been lacking. The Presidency of the Republic mentioned the 17 had been “firefighters who had been within the nearest space making an attempt to stop the unfold.”

The accident comes as Cuba struggles with gas shortages. There was no speedy phrase on how a lot oil had burned or was at risk on the tank farm, which shops oil used to gas electrical energy manufacturing.

“I used to be within the health club once I felt the primary explosion. A column of smoke and horrible hearth rose by the skies,” resident Adiel Gonzalez advised The Related Press by telephone. “The town has a robust odor of sulfur.”

Authorities mentioned the Dubrocq neighborhood closest to the hearth was evacuated, whereas Gonzalez added that some individuals determined to depart the Versailles district, which is a little bit farther from the tank farm.

There have been many ambulances, police and hearth engines, he mentioned.

Matanzas, which has about 140,000 inhabitants, is 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Havana, on Matnzas Bay.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to the world of the hearth early Saturday, officers mentioned.

Native meteorologist Elier Pila confirmed satellite tv for pc photographs of the world with a dense plume of black smoke shifting from the purpose of the hearth westward and reaching east to Havana.

“That plume might be near 150 kilometers lengthy,” Pila wrote on his Twitter account.

Andrea Rodríguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP



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