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121 wounded, seventeen lacking in hearth established off by lightning strikes in Cuba | World News

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A hearth established off by a lightning strike at an oil storage facility raged uncontrolled Saturday in the metropolis of Matanzas, in which 4 explosions and flames wounded 121 men and women and still left seventeen firefighters lacking, Cuban authorities mentioned.

Firefighters and other experts ended up nevertheless striving to quell the blaze at the Matanzas Supertanker Foundation, in which the hearth commenced in the course of a thunderstorm Friday evening, the Ministry of Power and Mines tweeted. Authorities mentioned about 800 men and women ended up evacuated from the Dubrocq community closest to the hearth,

The governing administration mentioned it experienced requested for assist from worldwide authorities in “friendly countries” with encounter in the oil sector.

Deputy Overseas Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío mentioned the U.S. governing administration experienced supplied specialized assist to quell the blaze. On his Twitter account, he mentioned the “proposal is in the arms of experts for the owing coordination.”

Minutes later on, President Miguel Díaz-Canel thanked Mexico , Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile for their delivers of assist. The initially help flights from Mexico and Venezuela ended up envisioned to get there at Matanzas’ airport Saturday evening.

The formal Cuban News Company mentioned lightning strike one particular tank, starting up a hearth, and the blaze later on unfold to a 2nd tank. As navy helicopters flew overhead dropping drinking water on the blaze, dense column of black smoke billowed from the facility and unfold westward a lot more than one hundred kilometers (sixty two miles) towards Havana.

Roberto de la Torre, head of hearth functions in Matanzas, mentioned firefighters ended up spraying drinking water on intact tanks striving to maintain them interesting in hopes of stopping the hearth from spreading.

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Cuba’s wellbeing minister noted late Saturday that 121 men and women ended up wounded with 5 of them in essential situation. There ended up no fatalities. The Presidency of the Republic mentioned the seventeen men and women lacking ended up “firefighters who ended up in the closest region striving to avert the unfold.”

The incident will come as Cuba struggles with gas shortages. There was no rapid phrase on how a lot oil experienced burned or was in hazard at the storage facility, which has 8 big tanks that keep oil applied to gas energy building crops.

“I was in the health and fitness center when I felt the initially explosion. A column of smoke and horrible hearth rose by the skies,” resident Adiel Gonzalez explained to The Linked Push by cell phone. “The metropolis has a solid odor of sulfur.”

He mentioned some men and women also resolved to depart the Versailles district, which is a small farther from the tank farm than Dubrocq.

Quite a few ambulances, law enforcement and hearth engines ended up witnessed in the streets of Matanzas, a metropolis with about a hundred and forty,000 inhabitants that is on Matnzas Bay.

Community meteorologist Elier Pila confirmed satellite illustrations or photos of the region with a dense plume of black smoke going from the place of the hearth westward and achieving east to Havana.

“That plume can be near to one hundred fifty kilometers very long,” Pila wrote on his Twitter account.

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


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