Nearly 80 hurt, 17 missing as fire set off by lightning spreads at Cuban oil storage facility

Almost 80 folks are harm and 17 are lacking in the Cuban metropolis of Matanzas following a lightning strike sparked a important hearth at a crude oil storage facility.

The even now-uncontrolled blaze at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, in Matanzas Province, about 60 miles east of Havana, began after a tank was strike by lightning during a thunderstorm Friday night, according to the Ministry of Electrical power and Mines.

That tank was believed to keep in excess of 13 million gallons of gas oil.

The blaze later on unfold to a 2nd tank, which exploded all-around 5 a.m.

Just about 800 folks were being evacuated, authorities mentioned.

Cuba’s health and fitness minister, José Angel Portal Miranda, mentioned on Twitter early Saturday early morning that a neighborhood hospital had been given 49 people, 7 of whom have been in essential issue.

A number of hrs later on, the formal Matanzas Fb site explained that the quantity of hurt experienced amplified to 77 folks.

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The Cuban energy minister, Liván Arronte Cruz, is amid people wounded, the workplace of the president said on Twitter.

Seventeen firefighters were being reported missing Saturday morning just as the 2nd tank exploded.

Photographs of the fire shared on social media by Cuban authorities demonstrate a enormous column of black smoke growing from the facility.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited the scene and held a conference with the provincial authorities.

“It is urgent to obtain the lacking firefighters in the explosion and to treatment for their families,” he tweeted Saturday morning. “The condition is tough but we will prevail.

Later on in the afternoon, he despatched out yet another tweet expressing “deep gratitude to the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile” for immediately providing to enable.

“We also recognize the offer you of technological guidance from the U.S.,” he extra.


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