A third fuel tank collapses in the Cuban city of Matanzas due to a heavy fire

The fire started on Thursday by a lightning strike on fuel tanks in the Cuban city of Matanzas has caused this Monday the collapse of a third tank after the second one collapsed and poured fuel on the third one throughout the early morning.

The governor of Matanzas, Mario Sabines, has pointed out that “what had been announced” happened with respect to the third tank, although he confirmed that there have been no new oil spills.

“Currently there is little visibility due to the smoke surrounding the Industrial Zone, product of the fire in the surrounding areas”, said the governor, who explained that at the moment “several Air Force helicopters are pouring water to prevent the fire from spreading to other areas”.

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In addition, he stressed that, after the collapse of the second tank caused a strong explosion visible from different parts of the island, “it is not all bad news”. Thus, he pointed out that “a large hydraulic pump” has been assembled and “equipment to launch foam” has been positioned.

The governor has detailed that “protecting human resources is a priority” while recognizing “the work of the Fire Department in extinguishing the fire.” “Firefighters continue to move forward, clearing the way for the brigade that launches the foam to move forward,” he added.

“We will go at the pace imposed by the care for people’s lives,” the governor said, according to a statement issued by the Cuban Presidency.

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The authorities maintain the provisional death toll at one, while another 16 people remain missing and five of the 24 hospitalized patients are in critical condition, according to the count updated by the Ministry of Public Health.

The residential area closest to the deposits, located in the supertanker port of Matanzas, remains evacuated as a precaution and it is not ruled out that the radius could be extended if the situation worsens. The government has ruled out danger to the city as a whole.

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