Firefighters subdue deadly blaze at key oil facility in Cuba


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HAVANA — A lethal fireplace that has consumed a minimum of half of a giant oil facility in western Cuba and threatened to worsen the island’s power disaster has been largely managed after practically 5 days, authorities stated Wednesday.

Flames that just lately consumed the fourth tank within the eight-tank facility in Matanzas have been virtually quelled, though the third tank stays on fireplace and surrounded by smoke, in accordance with an unidentified Cuban firefighter.

“We will’t go in for now,” he advised Cubavisión, a authorities TV channel.

The blaze killed a minimum of one particular person and injured 128 others, with 14 firefighters nonetheless reported lacking and 20 folks hospitalized. The hearth additionally pressured officers to evacuate greater than 4,900 folks and shut down a key thermoelectric plant after it ran out of water, elevating issues a couple of new spherical of blackouts along with those the federal government introduced final week for Havana.

Col. Daniel Chávez, second in command at Cuba’s firefighting division, stated the hearth may preserve burning for the following couple of days however doesn’t count on it to develop in dimension. He stated the following step is to chill the world.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel cautiously celebrated the work by native firefighters and particular groups that Mexico and Venezuela despatched that employed boats, planes and helicopters to battle the blaze whose billowing, poisonous smoke could possibly be seen from the capital of Havana.

“(Tuesday) was a victory day, however we can’t be overconfident,” he tweeted on Wednesday as he warned a couple of attainable swap within the wind path. “Hazard is lurking.”

The hearth on the Matanzas Supertanker Base started Friday after lightning struck the important thing infrastructure, which operates an oil pipeline that receives Cuban crude oil that powers thermoelectric crops. It additionally serves because the unloading and transshipment heart for imported crude oil, gas oil and diesel.

The federal government has not supplied an estimate of damages or stated how a lot it has misplaced general in key gas provides. The primary tank was at 50% capability and contained practically 883,000 cubic toes (25,000 cubic meters) of gas. The second tank was full.

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