HAVANA, Aug 6. Around 7:00 p.m. this Friday, due to a storm, lightning struck crude storage tank 52
of the Matanzas Supertanker Base causing a fire, the Ministry of Energy and Mines reported on its Twitter account.On his Facebook TV page, Yumuri specified that no injuries or loss of human life have been reported, and that the provincial authorities are at the scene of the incident, where firefighters and workers from the Cupet Territorial Division are working to put out the flames.
“Authorities, fire department, Minint and the FAR are on the scene. Confidence that the situation will be controlled, ”said the first secretary of the Party in the province, Susely Morfa González, on her Twitter account.
According to a report from the ACN, the national crude tank affected by the electrical discharge was at 50% of its filling capacity, which is 50,000 cubic meters.
The supertanker base – which has eight tanks – has a lightning rod system but apparently the discharge was higher than what it could protect, explained Rigel Rodríguez Cubells, director of the Territorial Division of Marketing of Fuels Matanzas.
Firefighters from Mayabeque and Havana support the work carried out to control the fire. A regular flow of water is guaranteed with means from the province, said the Governor of Matanzas, Mario Sabines Lorenzo.
Journalist Eliane Táboas reported from the scene that the discharge caused the lid of the tank to shoot several meters away.
At 11 p.m. specialized forces continue to work to control the fire. “Confidence,” Susely Morfa González, first secretary of the Party in Matanzas, wrote on her Twitter account.
“The pipes pass, the hustle and bustle may continue all night,” local radio station Radio 26 reported.
The provincial director of Health, Luis Armando Wong Corrales, reported that there are five ambulances available and that hospitals have been arranged in case the smoke affects the population.
The population near the area of the fire has been evacuated, provincial authorities explained to Díaz-Canel.
According to the Presidency, the president congratulated and thanked the Matanzas press for the good work they are doing. “We must keep our population informed in real-time,” said the head of state.
“These are very hard hours; but we have the firm conviction that we will win,” Morfa González wrote on Twitter.
She learned that the structure of the tank collapsed but no oil spill was reported. Firefighters have created a foam mattress and are throwing water on the other tanks that are 50 meters away to prevent the spread of the flames, according to TV Yumuri.
The volatility of the chemical components in the crude delay the containment of the fire.
In the Territorial Division of Marketing of Fuels Matanzas, the images captured by a drone that flew over the area of the fire, which started around seven at night, were reviewed.
Díaz-Canel in the Territorial Division of Marketing of Fuels Matanzas. Photo: Twitter/ @PresidenciaCuba.
This morning will be very long and distressing, as was the night, said Díaz-Canel, noting that there is no history of a fire of such magnitude at the Supertanker Base.
“Today the people of Matanzas with their paintings in front, admire for their courage and serenity. We are honored to accompany you”, he underlined in a tweet.
TV Yumuri reported that the air and poor lighting affect the work being done to put out the fire. According to calculations by specialists, in the morning hours they wait for the control of the accident if conditions allow it.
After 2 in the morning, more specialized bodies from Havana arrived at the industrial area of the city of Matanzas.
As journalist Arnaldo Mirabal informs us, the second tank has just exploded, several injuries have been reported.
The press team that was in the place suffered injuries and they are transferred to a health institution.
So far there have been several explosions and two of the tanks have been affected.