International news | latest world newsinternatioAfter five days the Cuban oil fire has been put out.

The blaze caused nationwide blackouts and nearly half of the largest fuel stockpile on the island was destroyed.



After raging for five days, a large fire at a fuel storage facility in Cuba has finally been put out. The site has been wrecked, and the island's ability to generate electricity has been put at risk.


Officials from the Interior Ministry appeared on state television on Tuesday to declare that firemen had put out the Matanzas oil depot fire, but they provided no information regarding the amount of fuel that was lost during the previous five days or an estimate of the total damages.


The chief of transportation for the ministry, Rolando Vecino, stood there and declared, "Today we have been able to contain the fire."


A lightning strike last Friday burned one of the eight fuel tanks at the site, which started the fire. By Saturday, the fire had spread to a second tank and was responsible for several large explosions. Over the following two days, two more containers were also damaged.


Following the explosions on Saturday, one firefighter passed away, 14 others went missing, and at least 125 people were hurt, five of whom are still in serious condition.


The government-run power company in Cuba claimed that the fire prompted them to shut down a significant plant Monday afternoon that served the western part of the island, causing reports of blackouts.


First responder Rafael Perez Garriga told Reuters that because of the effects on the energy, "the scenario is going to be tougher."


"The globe will be affected if the thermoelectric plants are supplied with that oil," he continued, "since electricity impacts everything. It was formerly held at Matanzas.


The troubled Communist country experiences periodic fuel shortages and blackouts in some areas as a result of 60 years of American sanctions; last summer, the shortages contributed to a wave of tense protests.


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