Cuba controls major industrial fire in Matanzas after six days
Cuban authorities confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 10, that the fire still raging is controlled, and will fizzle out without any more incidents.
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The fire that's raged at Cuba's Matanza's Oil Terminal is the worst industrial fire in the country's history, and has caused one death, with 14 missing and more than a hundred injured.
The second chief of the National Extinction Department of the Cuban Fire Brigade, Alexander Ávalos Jorge, said that at the moment, the emergency teams are still working in three combat sectors in the area of the four affected tanks, but that the fires has been brought under control. In total, there are eight tanks on the site.
"We feel calmer, always worried, but calmer, the extinction will not be today, but little by little we will finish with it," added the lieutenant colonel.
Ávalos also thanked the support received from Mexico and Venezuela, which turned the tide of controlling the fire.
"We have extinguished isolated outbreaks that offer no danger of spreading and we continue with the cooling of the tanks," he added.
Luis Wong, provincial director of Public Health, said that there are 14 firefighters missing, and the one deceased is a 60-year-old firefighter.
He also explained that when the conditions are right they will look for the rest of the victims.
The fire broke out on Friday, Aug. 5, when lightning struck one of the eight tanks. However, in the following days the fire affected four further tanks, which caused serious explosions and toxic black smoke that reached Havana, 104 kilometers away.
So far, the Cuban government has not estimated of the economic cost of the event — the worst in the country's industrial history.