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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightCuba struggles to put...

Cuba struggles to put out fires at its oil storage facility, US offers help

Cuba struggles to put out fires at its oil storage facility, US offers help

Havana: Cuba has accepted the US offer of "technical advice" to control the fires at the nation's major oil facility in Matanzas, which remains grim for the second day on Saturday.

Venezuela sent teams to help fight the massive oil-fed fire as heat from it reached a second tank yesterday while flames are dangerously swinging towards a third tank, according to Reuters.

Lightening stuck on Friday evening one of the eight oil storage tanks at the facility, which sits 60 miles east of Havana.

One image from the site shows military helicopters hovering in the darkened sky dumping waters over the storage tanks to douse the flames.

Meanwhile, Cuban authorities asked residents in Havana to avoid acid rain as smoke began clouding up in the sky.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted gratitude to the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, and Chile for offering material aid in the face of this complex situation.

Diaz-Canel particularly appreciated in his tweet the US offer of technical advice which seems to be unexpected considering the historic standoff between both nations.

One person was dead and 17 firefighters remain untraced following the second blast at the site which left 121 people injured, alongside more than 1000 civilians were evacuated from the area, Cuban authorities said.

A local resident was quoted reporting about a 'very big' blast that lit up the area like sun yesterday at around 8 pm and another at 5 am today.

President Diaz-Canel visited the scene around midnight and posted on Twitter before the second blast that first responders were trying to avert spread of flames and fuel spill into Matanzas bay.

The loss fuel and storage facility could aggravate Cuba's fuel shortage, further worsening the daily blackouts which stirred up local protest in the last few months.

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TAGS:Cuba-oil-storage fire Matanzas-fire 
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