Residents were warned to keep indoors because the inferno’s smoke could contain toxic fumes
The fire that erupted at the Cuban oil plant has now spread to other storage vessels. Four fuel tanks have been destroyed. Firefighters from many countries continue to fight the flames, which has already killed at least one person, and has left over 100 people injured.
Initially sparked last Friday by lightning, the flames at Matanzas oil facility continued to burn throughout the weekend. On Saturday, an explosion occurred that ignited fuel storage tanks and ignited another tank. The fire was still raging on Monday, and despite efforts to cool the remaining fuel tanks, two others were compromised by the evening, with Alexander Avalos of Cuba’s fire department stating the blaze had “taken on a greater magnitude.”
Mario Sabines, Matanzas governor said that the flames looked like an “Olympic torch”You can travel from tank to tank, making each one into another. “cauldron,”We noticed that thick black smoke was pouring from the building, making the situation even worse. “complicated.”
Officials have advised residents to either wear masks out in public or remain home because the smoke could contain harmful substances like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
Four of the facility’s eight storage tanks are now out of commission, and thanks to the fire Cuba’s government-run power company said it was forced to shut down a major plant servicing the island’s western region on Monday afternoon.
The Associated Press reports that at least one person died in the fire and 14 more are missing. 125 others have suffered injuries from the smoke inhalation or burns. Twenty-four people were admitted to hospital, five of whom are still in critical condition.
Although some firefighters are still missing, officials from the local government and President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba have stated that the extreme heat at the oil plant makes rescue attempts impossible.
As first responders try to manage the situation, nearly 5,000 residents were evacuated from the flames.
Answering a phone call “friendly countries”The President Diaz-Cane announced that the Mexican and Venezuelan governments have sent firefighting units to Cuban officials, equipped with planes, water cannons, and helicopters. Cuba’s military has also taken part in the effort.
The Matanzas Supertanker Base is Cuba’s largest port for crude oil and other fuel imports, and is used as a fuel hub for several thermoelectric plants around the country, according to the AP. Though officials have yet to offer an estimate of damages caused by the fire, the economic impact will likely extend beyond Matanzas given its importance to Cuba’s electric system.
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