November 29, 2022

One firefighter dead and 14 people missing

Read Time:1 Minute, 54 Second


(CNN) — At least one firefighter has died and 14 more people are missing in Matanzas, Cuba, as firefighters continue to work day and night to contain the fire at an oil storage facility, Matanzas Defense Council president Susely Morfa said during a press conference on Monday.

The number of missing people was changed after three people showed up at hospitals, Morfa said.

The fire was caused by lightning damaging four of the eight oil tanks, the local government said in the latest press release on Tuesday. The fire is not fully controlled, but “progress has been made in its containment.”

On Monday, the Cuban presidency reported on its Twitter account that the third fuel tank had collapsed in Matanzas, after the spill that had been generated in the second of those tanks, as a result of the fire that began this Friday.

“The fire that was in the second tank compromised the third tank,” said Matanzas Governor Mario Sabines.

Videos show the magnitude of the fire in Cuban oil tanks 3:08

The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who has been in place since the fire broke out, has held daily meetings with the collaborators to develop strategies and coordinate the work.

“Keep in mind that we are all participating in a common event against the fire that is hitting us,” the president said on Monday, according to a presidential statement.

According to Granma, the official media outlet of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, there are no precedents in the history of the country for a fire like this.

The moment of the explosion of one of the oil tanks in Cuba 1:02

“The fire has now taken a higher magnitude. The four tanks of 50,000 are already committed. We find ourselves defending terminal 321, where the clear product tanks are located, mainly by preventing the spread of the fire and taking into account that the flash of these tanks and the emission of the generator set has caused a spread,” Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ávalos Jorge, second chief of the National Extinction Department of the Cuban Fire Department.



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