Beijing time:2022-08-07 03:09
[NTD, Beijing time, August 07, 2022]An oil storage facility in Cuba was struck by lightning on the evening of the 5th and caused an explosion. The fire has continued to burn for the second day and has not been extinguished. The high temperature has spread to the second oil tank. A third tank is also at stake. At least one person is known to have been killed, 121 injured, and 17 firefighters missing; Cuban president seeks international experts to help put out the fire.
The fire started after the lightning struck an oil tank at an oil storage facility on the outskirts of Matanzas, the capital of Matanzas. In the early hours of the 6th, the fire spread to the second oil tank, triggering another explosion, and huge black smoke shot into the sky, spreading more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) westward, toward Havana. Helicopters continued to put out the blaze, with ambulances, water tanks and cranes at the scene.
The city of Matanzas, with a population of 140,000, is located 60 miles east of the Cuban capital, Havana.
The official Granma newspaper said the fire may have been caused by a “failure of the lightning rod system, which was unable to withstand the energy generated by the lightning”.
Cuban authorities said at least 121 people were injured in the second explosion, 36 of whom were hospitalized and five were in critical condition. One person was killed and 17 firefighters were unaccounted for. More than 1,000 residents were evacuated from the area.
Asbel Leal, director of the national oil company Cupet, said Cuba had never experienced a fire “on the scale of today”.
The first tank hit by the first lightning strike contained about 26,000 cubic meters of crude oil, about half its capacity, according to Kubit. The second tank contains 52,000 cubic meters of fuel.
“Cuba asks friendly countries with fuel experience to provide help and advice” to help put out the fire, the Cuban Presidential Palace said in a statement.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel later thanked the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile for “timely material assistance”.
“We are also grateful for the technical advice provided by the United States,” Dias-Canai added.
(Editor in charge: Lu Yongxin)
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