Officials in Cuba on Sunday said that 122 individuals were injured, a minumum of one person had died and 17 individuals were missing following a fire at a crude oil storage facility. Photo by Ernesto Mastrascusa/EPA-EFE
Aug. 7 (UPI) — A lot more than 100 folks have been injured and something has died following a fire sparked by way of a lightning strike at a crude oil storage facility in Cuba, officials said Sunday.
At the very least 122 individuals were injured in the blaze, with 24 still hospitalized, including five in critical condition, Cuban state-run media outlet La Prensa reported. The Ministry of the inside later recovered a body at the scene.
As well as the injuries and deaths, 17 people remained missing Sunday.
The fire began Friday night after lightning struck the Matanzas Super Tanker Base, about 60 miles east of Havana.
Two self storage, one containing about 918,000 cubic feet of petroleum and another carrying about 1.8 million cubic feet of fuel oil, were influenced by the blaze.
Officials said the fire didn’t pose an instantaneous threat to the nearby Antonio Guterres power plant, among the largest in the island nation.
Specialized fire crews from Mexico and Venezuela were on the scene attempting to combat the blaze and stop it from spreading to other tanks and installations.
“Today was, once more, difficult,” the Cuban presidency said. “Firefighters continue fighting the intense fire as help originates from friendly countries. Today is a pivotal day inside our fight forever.”
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canal Bermudez expressed “deep gratitude” to Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile for offering aid.
Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, vice minister of foreign affairs, also said that the Cuban government had accepted “technical guidance” provided by america to combat the fire.
“We deeply appreciate the condolences and expressions of help from people and organizations in the U.S. concerning the #Matanzas incident, including from the U.S. government, which offered technical advice, a proposal has already been in the hands of specialists for proper coordination,” he wrote on Twitter.
A spokesperson for the U.S. STATE DEPT. told the Miami Herald that the Biden administration was “closely tracking the problem, including any humanitarian needs that could emerge.”
“The U.S. embargo authorizes U.S. persons to supply disaster relief and response in Cuba,” the spokesperson said.