(Update: adds detail)
Efforts to put out huge industrial fire in western Cuba enter 3rd day
Havana, Aug 8 (EFE).- Emergency service personnel on Monday were still trying to put out a fire at an oil storage facility in Matanzas in western Cuba that has been raging for three days and which has killed one firefighter.
The fire has also injured over 100 people, while 16 people are missing.
The fire erupted on Friday evening after lightning struck one of the eight storage tanks of the fuel deposit.
A second tank caught fire and cracked open on Saturday, sending up a thick cloud of smoke and causing an oil leak which led to the collapse of a third tank on Monday.
“A third tank also collapsed after fuel spilled from the second tank further compromised the situation in the early hours of the morning,” governor of Matanzas Mario Sabines told reporters.
“The risk that we had announced did indeed occur,” he added.
The majority of the missing are firefighters who were caught by surprise by the second explosion while tackling the fire at the first tank.
Over 4,000 residents of Matanzas have been evacuated from homes located in the vicinity of the industrial estate.
The oil facility consists of eight tanks of 50,000 cubic meters each. EFE