Worst fire in Cuban history finally brought under control at oil depot | Cuba

Firefighters have finally overcome what officials described as the worst fire in Cuba’s history that destroyed 40 percent of the Caribbean island’s main fuel storage facility for five days and caused power outages. did.

raging flames Destroyed the 4 tank segment of the Matanzas Super Tanker Port It has subsided on Tuesday, and the towering plume of thick black smoke that was streaming from the area has diminished and is now mostly grey.

Matanzas is Cuba’s largest port for imports of crude oil and fuels. Cuban heavy crude oil and fuel and diesel stored in his 10 huge tanks in Matanzas are mainly used for power generation on the island.

Thunder One fuel storage tank was attacked on Friday eveningThe fire had spread to a second by Sunday, engulfing an area of ​​four tanks on Monday and causing a massive explosion despite the efforts of local firefighters supported by more than 100 Mexican and Venezuelan reinforcements. I was.

Firefighter Rafael Pérez Garriga told Reuters about the area surrounding the disaster that he feared the fires would affect the country’s electricity situation.

“The situation is going to be more difficult. If you feed thermoelectric power plants with that oil, the whole world will be affected. It’s electricity and it will affect everything,” he said. I was.

Communist countries under severe US sanctions are almost bankrupt. Frequent power outages and shortages of gasoline and other supplies had already created a tense situation with scattered local protesters following the historic upheaval last summer in July.

On Tuesday, more helicopters joined the firefighting effort, and two fireboats were dispatched from Mexico with heavy firefighting equipment.

“Due to circumstances, we have not yet been able to access the affected area. We cannot risk our lives at this time as the burning is occurring,” Perez said around noon.

Later in the day, firefighters entered the area for the first time, spraying the still-smoldering wreckage with foam and water.

“Today we managed to control the fire,” said Rolando Vecino, the interior ministry’s transportation chief, on state television from the scene.

Authorities have not disclosed how much fuel was lost in the fire that destroyed all four tanks. Still, they warned residents as far away as Havana to wear face masks and avoid acid rain due to the large amount of smoke produced by the fire.

One firefighter was killed and 14 were missing when a second tank exploded on Saturday, officials said Tuesday, correcting the previous 16 missing figures. Five are still in critical condition.

Mario Sabinez, governor of the state of Matanzas, about 60 miles (130 km) from Havana, quipped that the flames spread from tank to tank like an “Olympic torch,” turning each one into a “cauldron.” .

Worst fire in Cuban history finally brought under control at oil depot | Cuba

Source link Worst fire in Cuban history finally brought under control at oil depot | Cuba

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