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Fire on a Cuban oil tanker with 121 injured, 17 missing and one dead

Lightning sparked a massive fire and four explosions at a Cuban oil storage facility on Friday, injuring 121 people, missing 17 firefighters and killing 1 person.

According to state media, the inferno erupted when lightning struck a tank at Matanzas Supertanker Base, sparking fire that spread to a second tank.

Plumes of smoke could be seen in Havana, 65 miles away.

A body was recovered at the base on Saturday as about 800 people were evacuated from a nearby neighborhood, authorities said.

“I was at the gym when I felt the first explosion. A column of smoke and a terrible fire rose through the sky,” said Adiel Gonzalez from Matanzas. “The city smells strongly of sulfur.”

Cuban oil fire
At least one person died and 121 people were injured by the fire.
AP
Cuban oil fire
17 firefighters are missing.
AP
Oil fire in Cuba
Cuba asked “friendly countries” for help.
AP
Workers from the Cuba Oil Union, known by its Spanish acronym CUPET, watch a huge plume of smoke rising from the Matanzas Supertanker Base
Cuba Oil Union workers watch as firefighters work to put out a massive fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base.
AP

Firefighters worked feverishly to prevent the fire from spreading to six other tanks as officials asked “friendly countries” with experience in the oil sector for help.

A relief plane from Mexico arrived on Saturday as Cuba thanked the US, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile for their help.

The oil in the tanks is used to fuel power plants to generate electricity. The fire comes as Cuba continues to grapple with an oil shortage.

Oil fire in Cuba
Smoke could be seen 65 miles from the Havana facility.
AP
Oil fire in Cuba
A helicopter dumps water over the Matanzas Supertanker Base.
AP
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The fire broke out when Cuba was in the midst of an oil shortage.
AP
A Home Office member who was injured trying to help with the rescue effort is returning to help near the Matanzas Supertanker Base
A Home Office member who was injured trying to help with the rescue effort is returning to help near the Matanzas Supertanker Base.
AP
Cuban Red Cross members prepare to be transported to Matanzas Supertanker Base
Cuban Red Cross members prepare to be transported to Matanzas Supertanker Base.
AP

With postal wires

https://nypost.com/2022/08/07/cuban-oil-tanker-fire-leaves-121-injured-17-missing-and-1-dead/ Fire on a Cuban oil tanker with 121 injured, 17 missing and one dead

JACLYN DIAZ

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