Fire in Cuban supertanker port leaves 121 injured and 17 firefighters missing
A massive oil-fed fire burned for a second day on Saturday near Cuba's supertanker port in Matanzas, following a blaze that burned through the night after lightning hit another tank on Friday evening.
A video released by the Cuban government showed the moment when a fuel storage tank erupted into a massive fireball, and a massive black smoke cloud rose into the sky.
On Friday evening, lightning struck one of eight storage tanks at the facility 60 miles east of Havana. The heat from the blaze reached a second tank on Saturday, and the wind blew flames dangerously close to a third.
Cuban authorities said at least 121 people were injured in the second blast, of which 36 remained hospitalized, five in critical condition. One person was listed as dead, and 17 firefighters were unaccounted for. More than 1,000 civilians were evacuated from the area.
Helicopters continued to drop water on the fire, as flames threatened other nearby fuel storage tanks.
Large plumes of smoke could be seen across the island.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel first visited the scene 80 miles east of Havana late on Friday (August 5) night, returning again on Saturday morning as state-run television broadcast live coverage of the unfolding disaster.
Cuba is suffering from daily blackouts and fuel shortages, and the loss of fuel and further storage capacity is likely to aggravate the situation.