Oil fire in Cuba brought under control after 5 days

Hell has destroyed nearly half of Cuba’s largest fuel depot and caused blackouts across the island

A massive fire at a Cuban oil facility has finally been extinguished after burning for five days, leaving the fuel storage site devastated amid fears the damage could affect the island’s ability to generate electricity.

Interior Ministry officials appeared on state television on Tuesday to say firefighters had brought the fire at the Matanzas oil facility under control, but offered no details on how much fuel was lost during the process. of the last five days or an estimate of the overall damage.

“Today we managed to control the fire”,said Rolando Vecino, the ministry’s transport chief, as he stood at the scene.

The fire was started by a lightning strike last Friday, which immediately ignited one of the site’s eight fuel tanks. On Saturday, the flames had spread to a second tank, causing a series of powerful explosions, while two other containers were compromised over the next two days.

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Massive fire spreads to Cuba’s oil depot

One firefighter died and 14 others were missing following Saturday’s explosions, and at least 125 were injured in the blaze, five of whom remain in critical condition.

Due to the flames, the Cuban government-run electricity company said it was forced to shut down a major power station serving the western region of the island on Monday afternoon, causing power outages.

Speaking to Reuters near the scene of the fire, first responder Rafael Perez Garriga said “The situation will be more difficult” due to electrical impacts.

“If thermoelectric power stations are supplied with this oil [previously stored at Matanzas]we are going to affect the whole world, it is electricity and it affects everything”, he added.

Under heavy US sanctions, the embattled communist nation faces frequent fuel shortages and power outages in some areas, shortages that helped spark a series of heated protests last summer.


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