Fuel depot blaze: Cuba battles worst fire in history; massive blackouts reported

Fuel depot blaze: Cuba battles worst fire in history; massive blackouts reported

The flames have now died down but thick black smoke can be seen in the area.

Following the blaze at Cuba's main fuel storage facility in Matanzas, massive blackouts were reported on Tuesday morning in the country. About 40% of the facility has been destroyed in what officials said was the worst fire in its history. On Friday, a lightning strike sparked the disaster in Cuba, with a four-tank segment of the Matanzas super tanker port engulfed by the flames.

Helicopters and firefighters are trying to gain access to the remaining four tanks at the depot in hopes of deploying special foam to control the flames. The fire has left one firefighter dead and 14 more missing.

Reuters reported that the flames have now died down but thick black smoke can be seen in the area. Residents have been advised to wear face masks and avoid acid rain.

Daniel Chavez, deputy chief of the forces trying to douse the flames, told local media “we see a change in smoke color...It seems to be a different day and we are taking advantage of the morning when the sun is not so strong because it is a factor that has an impact”.

Fuel depot blaze: Cuba battles worst fire in history; massive blackouts reported
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Around 125 injured were taken to hospital while 22 remain in care. Some 5,000 people have been evacuated from around the disaster zone, authorities reported.

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