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Fire at Cuban oil terminal spreads to third tank

A fire at an oil terminal in western Cuba spread to a third tank as firefighters struggled to put it out, officials said Monday. rice field.

One firefighter has died and 16 are missing since a fire broke out in Matanzas port Friday night after lightning struck. More than 100 people were injured, including 24 hospitalized, officials said.

A lightning strike initially set him on fire in just one oil tank, but early Saturday he quickly spread to a second tank, causing an explosion at the facility . The explosion caused fatalities and missing firefighters.

The fire spread to his third storage tank late Sunday and now threatens his fourth of his original eight tanks at the facility, officials said. .

Helicopters hauling water fly over the Matanzas Supertanker Base, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 8, 2022.
A helicopter flies over the Matanzas supertanker base in Matanzas, Cuba. , August 8, 2022.

The governments of Mexico and Venezuela sent teams to help local firefighters fight the fire.

Authorities are using planes, helicopters and water cannons to try to stop the fire.

Matanzas governor Mario Sabinez told state television that the containment effort was "very complicated," according to Agence France-Presse. He said the team was preparing an operation to extinguish the flames with foam, but "this could take some time."

Officials said the port From the surrounding he evacuated more than 5,000 people.

Matanzas Port receives crude oil and fuel imports, much of which is used to generate electricity on the island.

Fire smoke can be seen in Havana more than 100 kilometers away, according to the Associated Press.

Health officials have warned residents to wear masks in smoke-affected areas and avoid rain. Officials say the smoke clouds contain toxic chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.

Cuba is already facing electricity and fuel shortages, with authorities imposing energy blackouts. Power outages and economic turmoil sparked anti-government demonstrations last year.

Some information in this report was provided by Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.