(CMR) At least 125 people were injured, one dead, and 15 firefighters were missing as Cuba continued to battle a major oil tank fire on Tuesday, 9 August. The fire reportedly started over the weekend after lightning struck an oil tank resulting in an explosion in the industrial zone of the city of Matanzas.
The fire has since spread to other tanks. According to AP, flames engulfed a fourth tank at the oil storage facility in western Cuba on Tuesday as the raging fire consumes critical fuel supplies on an island grappling with a growing energy crisis.
Firefighters and specialists from Mexico and Venezuela helped fight the blaze in the province of Matanzas with boats, planes, and helicopters as they sprayed foam on the containers, a first for crews since broiling temperatures had prevented them from doing so earlier.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed condolences to Cuba on the death of at least one person following last weekend’s oil tank explosion.
“The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stands with the government and people of Cuba in the aftermath of the disastrous fire at the Port of Matanzas. We extend our condolences on the loss of life and wish a speedy recovery to the scores of people who were injured in this tragic accident brought on by an act of nature,” the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.
“The extensive damage to infrastructure and the environment is also of concern to the Community, and in the same manner of the steadfast fraternity shown to CARICOM by our sister nation, the Community stands in solidarity with Cuba as it seeks to limit the damage of this disaster and offers our assistance to our longstanding friend and partner to overcome this setback,” it added.