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Firefighters doused the flames of the first tank in the fire at the oil port of Matanzas

The Cuban regime announced this Sunday afternoon that the flames of the first fuel tank that burned in the supertanker port of the city of Matanzas, 80 kilometers from Havana, have been contained.

The Cuban specialized forces, with the support of Mexican and Venezuelan technicians and specialists who arrived on the island on Saturday night, managed to put out the fire caused by the oil spill after the impact of lightning on the first tank, reported on Twitter the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in Matanzas, Susely Morfa.

However, Morfa explained that the second tank is still burning and has been deformed. For its part, the third tank maintains its structure “in good condition”, and if it is cooling with water at intervals to maintain an adequate temperature that prevents combustion.

Specialists from the Fire Department and the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) are concentrated at the scene of the incident to try to increase the flow of water to the tank for firefighters, who continue to fight the fire.

The pumping system extracts seawater that is transported through a pipe to the fire area, explained First Colonel Ernesto Rodríguez-Gallo Valdés, of the Matanzas Military Region.

Intensive work is also being done on the extraction of fuel stored in nearby tanks with specialists from the CubaPetroleo Union (CUPET). The diesel will be sent to other centers in Matanzas and Havana while it is expected that a ship will dock in the next few hours to transfer much of that fuel.

The fire started on Friday as a result of a lightning strike on a 55,000-liter oil tank. So far, 123 people have been confirmed injured, one dead and 16 missing people, while the population of the area has begun to be evacuated due to the danger posed by toxic gases.

Luis Wong, provincial director of Health of Matanzas, said at a press conference that of the 121 injured, almost all due to burns, 85 were discharged, 36 are hospitalized, of which five are in critical condition.

Likewise, 17 missing persons are reported. They are “firefighters who were in the area closest” to the fire, the presidency said on its Twitter account, adding that “Cuba requested help and advice from friendly countries with experience in the oil issue.”

The dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel declared that the extinction of the fire “may take time”, while the director of Commerce and Supply of the state Cuba-Petroleum Union (Cupet), Asbel Leal, specified that the country had never faced a fire of “ the magnitude that we have today”.

According to the Matanzas authorities, the number of evacuees rose to 1,900 people.

The fire continues at the fuel reserve center in Matanzas, Cuba

The capacity of each deposit is 50,000 cubic meters of crude oil, but the amount they contained at the time of the explosions is unknown. The amount of fuel per tank is comparable to that of 15 Olympic swimming pools.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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