The huge blaze that destroyed four of eight large storage tanks at the Matanzas Oil Terminal in Cuba was brought under control after days ablaze. The fire, which was started by a lightening strike, hindered marine terminal operations and forced tankers to divert to other ports.
Columns of fire were reported rising from the site and thick black smoke spewed for days. Explosions occurred as tanks collapsed or imploded. Mexico and Venezuela sent firefighters to assist and the U. S. provided technical consultations.
It took a full week of work to finally get the fire under control and put it out. Six firefighters were killed while working to put the blaze out and more than 130 people were injured during the incident.
“The U. S. is relieved that the Matanzas fire has been contained. We wish a speedy recovery to all the individuals and families who have been affected. We hope that any significant environmental impact on the people of Cuba can be easily mitigated,” the U.S. Embassy in Cuba said in a statement.