The official Cuban Information Company stated lightning hit one tank, beginning a hearth, and the blaze later unfold to a second tank. As army helicopters flew overhead dropping water on the blaze, dense column of black smoke billowed from the power and unfold westward greater than 100 kilometers (62 miles) towards Havana.
The Fb web page of the provincial authorities of Matanzas stated the variety of injured had reached 77, whereas 17 folks had been lacking. The Presidency of the Republic stated the 17 had been “firefighters who had been within the nearest space making an attempt to stop the unfold.”
The accident comes as Cuba struggles with gas shortages. There was no quick phrase on how a lot oil had burned or was at risk on the storage facility, which has eight big tanks that maintain oil used to gas electrical energy producing vegetation.
“I used to be within the gymnasium once I felt the primary explosion. A column of smoke and horrible fireplace rose by way of the skies,” resident Adiel Gonzalez informed The Related Press by cellphone. “Town has a powerful scent of sulfur.”
Authorities stated the Dubrocq neighborhood closest to the hearth was evacuated, whereas Gonzalez added that some folks determined to go away the Versailles district, which is a little bit farther from the tank farm.
Many ambulances, police and fireplace engines had been seen within the streets of Matanzas, a metropolis with about 140,000 inhabitants that’s on Matnzas Bay.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to the world of the hearth early Saturday, officers stated.
Native meteorologist Elier Pila confirmed satellite tv for pc pictures of the world with a dense plume of black smoke shifting from the purpose of the hearth westward and reaching east to Havana.
“That plume will be near 150 kilometers lengthy,” Pila wrote on his Twitter account.
Andrea Rodríguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP