Cuba

Havana (EFE).- At least 49 people were injured this Saturday by the explosion of a fuel tank in Matanzas (western Cuba), where two have already burned since this Friday after a lightning strike unleashed a fire.

According to official media, nine people are in serious condition and one is critical. Those affected are mostly members of the emergency teams that were working to extinguish the flames of the fire. There are also two journalists.

The affected crude oil deposits, with a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters, are located in the Supertanker Base in an industrial area of ​​Matanzas, near the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant, one of the largest in Cuba. The fire is not yet controlled, according to official media.

The country’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and his prime minister, Manuel Marrero, traveled to Matanzas at dawn to closely follow the evolution of the event and visited the wounded at the nearby Faustino Pérez provincial hospital.

According to state television, some families in Matanzas are being evacuated from their homes in the city’s neighborhoods closest to the affected industrial area, due to the risk of the flames spreading.

A large column of thick black smoke extends from the scene of the incident, covers Matanzas and is reaching Havana, a hundred kilometers away.

The fire started this Friday around 7:00 p.m. local time (11:00 p.m. GMT) when an electrical discharge hit one of the eight crude tanks at the Supertanker Base.

Then a fire broke out that affected a warehouse and that at first seemed controlled, according to official media.

However, the strong wind made the extinction work difficult and carried the flames to a second tank and, around 7:00 local time on Saturday (11:00 GMT), caused a new large explosion in another tank.

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