Fire of great magnitude at the Matanzas Supertanker Base

MIAMI, United States.- In the morning hours of this Saturday, August 6, Cuban authorities were still working to extinguish a large-scale fire that has consumed part of the Matanzas Supertanker Base since Friday night.

As confirmed on its Twitter account by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the fire occurred in the middle of a storm, when lightning struck the 52nd crude storage tank of said base.

So far, according to a report by the local media outlet TV Yumurí, specialized forces have been working to extinguish the fire at dawn. At least 70 people have already been evacuated.

“It will be very long and distressing this morning, as was the night. There is no history of a fire of such magnitude at the Supertanker Base. Today the people of #Matanzas with their paintings in front, admire for their courage and serenity. We are honored to accompany you. #FuerzaMatanzas,” Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel wrote on Twitter.

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The official Twitter account of the Cuban Presidency reported early this Saturday that at least 49 injured people are being treated at the Faustino Pérez Hospital in that province, two people are in critical condition and seven are in serious condition.

“Burns on limbs and neck predominate. Very tense situation for health areas, but everyone will be taken care of,” the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment said on Twitter.

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A report from the official Cuban News Agency (ACN) explained that the national crude tank hit by the electrical discharge was at 50% of its filling capacity, which is 50,000 cubic meters.

For his part, Rigel Rodríguez Cubells, director of the Matanzas Territorial Fuel Marketing Division, explained that the Supertanker Base —which has eight tanks— has a lightning rod system, but apparently the discharge was higher than what could have been protect this.

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Matanzas assured this Saturday morning that there are probabilities of some deaths, but no further information has been given in this regard.

And he added that “there were sufficient forces at the scene, including tanker trucks and dozens of ambulances. But the strong northeast wind that had been blowing since the afternoon was directing the flames towards the other tank with a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters and containing large volumes of fuel.”

News in development…

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