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Cuba: One Killed, 125 Injured in Oil Facility Fire (Videos)


A major fire that lasted for two days at an oil facility in Matanzas, Cuba, killed one person and wounded 125 people.

Officials revealed that 17 firefighters were missing and at least 24 people remained hospitalized, five of them in critical condition.

The fire broke out around 7 pm Friday when lightning struck one of the crude storage deposits at a supertanker base in northwestern Cuba, some 55 miles east of Havana.

Matanzas Gov. Mario Sabines Lorenzo said nearly 5,000 people from the region were evacuated due to the fire that set off several explosions.


Social media footage showed what looked like an inferno blasting fire into the sky on Sunday. People screamed “Ay, Dios mío!” — or “Oh, my God!” — as they retreated from their balconies. Some ran in panic as a massive fireball turned the sky orange and gave off ovenlike heat. The night had suddenly turned into day, some said as they recorded.

“Right now the situation is very complex at the #Matanzas Supertanker Base. Explosions continue to occur. The place cannot be accessed,” the Ministry of Energy and Mining tweeted early Monday.

Electrical storms forming over the weekend raised the risk of toxic showers, Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment alert. The government agency also suggested the use of masks to prevent the inhalation of dangerous particles.

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