Lightning units off fireplace at Cuban oil tank farm, dozens harm

HAVANA — Lightning struck a crude oil garage tank within the town of Matanzas, inflicting a spreading fireplace that ended in 4 explosions which injured just about 80 folks and left 17 firefighters lacking, Cuban government stated Saturday.

Firefighters and different experts had been nonetheless looking to quell the blaze on the Matanzas Supertanker Base, which started all the way through a thunderstorm Friday evening, the Ministry of Energy and Mines tweeted.

The reputable Cuban News Agency stated the lightning strike set one tank on fireplace and the blaze later unfold to a 2nd tank.

The Facebook web page of the provincial govt of Matanzas stated the collection of injured had reached 77, whilst 17 folks had been lacking. The Presidency of the Republic stated the 17 had been “firefighters who were in the nearest area trying to prevent the spread.”

The twist of fate comes as Cuba struggles with gas shortages. There used to be no rapid phrase on how a lot oil used to be burned or used to be in peril on the tank farm, which retail outlets oil used to gas electrical energy manufacturing.

“I was in the gym when I felt the first explosion. A column of smoke and terrible fire rose through the skies,” resident Adiel Gonzalez informed The Associated Press by means of telephone. “The city has a strong smell of sulfur.”

Authorities stated the Dubrocq community closest to the fireplace used to be evacuated, whilst Gonzalez added that some folks determined to depart the Versailles district, which is just a little further from the tank farm.

There had been many ambulances, police and fireplace engines, he stated.

Matanzas, which has about 140,000 population, is 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Havana, on Matanzas Bay.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to the realm of ​​the fireplace early Saturday, officers stated.

Local meteorologist Elier Pila confirmed satellite tv for pc pictures of the realm with a dense plume of black smoke transferring from the purpose of the fireplace westward and achieving east to Havana.

“That plume can be close to 150 kilometers long,” Pila wrote on his Twitter account.

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

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