Friday, January 27, 2023

Cuba: Search for more skeletons after oil fire

HAVANA ( Associated Press) – A team of experts continued to search Monday for more skeletal remains, possibly among more than a dozen firefighters who went missing in a recent fire that fueled Cuba’s Matanzas province. Was in the storage area.

The incident, which officials say was caused by lightning on one tank on August 5 and spread to three others – burning for a week – left at least two dead, 132 injured and 14 firefighters missing.

The skeletal remains of four bodies, which have not been identified, were found on Friday, officials said. Health Minister Jose Angel Portal indicated on Twitter during the day that new bone fragments had been found on Sunday and their identification was being worked out.

Located in Matanzas, about 100 kilometers from the capital, the supertanker base is an important facility for the national energy system, as fuel for thermoelectric plants is stored there and large ships with imported fuel are received.

Of the eight tanks distributed in two batteries, four were completely destroyed by the flames. 4,900 people in the neighborhood were to be evacuated, and have already returned to their homes.

Material damage was not reported, but experts assured it would be a hard blow to power generation on the island, which is facing difficulties supplying electricity to the population and industry from high summer temperatures.

The flames were brought under control on Friday with the cooperation of experts from Mexico and Venezuela, experts in oil field fires and bringing in aircraft, ships, helicopters and special chemical supplies to cool the tanks and extinguish the fire.

Firefighters from both countries were decorated this weekend. Other countries offered donations, like Argentina.

At the same time, Oscar García, an official at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in Matanzas, reported that there was no evidence of acid rain, or contamination of dams or the bay, as a result of the fires. Official website of Cubadebate.

Garcia said a lot of waste has been generated that the state oil company has to deal with.

Nation World News Desk
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