Cuba makes progress in controlling fuel farm fire


Havana, Aug 11 : Specialists and firefighters from Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela are making progress in controlling the fire at a fuel storage facility in Matanzas province, according to reports from local authorities. The fire was triggered by a lightning strike on a tank containing 26,000 cubic metres of Cuban oil on August 5, and later consumed three nearby tanks, leaving one dead, 14 missing and 125 injured. Several Cuban Army aircraft continued to pour water over the site, while a Mexican Navy helicopter made a reconnaissance flight on Wednesday morning to determine the extent of the damage, Xinhua news agency reported. Meanwhile, two Mexican ships launched powerful jets of seawater from Matanzas Bay to extinguish some pockets of flames and cool the area, while a Venezuelan hydraulic pump supplied water with chemical foam for the same purpose. Firefighters made progress controlling areas still burning and are protecting the four remaining fuel tanks located about 150 metres from the site, while the blaze remained confined to the initial area. According to authorities who detailed the next step of operations, the flames will be attacked with five water pumps, incorporating the fire departments from other Cuban provinces, and Venezuelan and Mexican brigades. /IANS


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