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  13 Aug 2022, 17:05

Cuba declares massive fuel plant fire extinguished

HAVANA, Aug 13, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Cuba's government declared the "elimination" 
on Friday of a fire at a major fuel storage plant that left two firefighters 
dead and 14 people missing. 

The presidency said on Twitter that "at 7:00 am (1100 GMT) the elimination of 
the fire was declared."

After the fire was extinguished, 60 experts entered the disaster zone to 
recover the remains of those still missing.

"Forensic Medicine teams have been working since early in the morning to 
search for the remains of the missing persons," the president's office said.

Remains of the missing have been "located in different places" in the 
devastated area, one of the experts told President Miguel Diaz-Canel during a 
tour of the plant, according to state television.

The massive fire started on Friday last week after lightning struck a tank at 
the depot outside the western city of Matanzas, 100 kilometers from Havana.

Four of the eight tanks at the depot -- each with the capacity to hold 50 
million liters (13.2 million gallons) of fuel -- collapsed during the blaze, 
which injured 132 people. Four of them are in critical condition, according 
to the latest Health Ministry report.

Two firefighters died in the incident. The body of one was found on Saturday, 
while another perished on Thursday after spending several days in hospital.

An army of Cuban firefighters worked around the clock for almost a week to 
extinguish the flames, with the help of technicians, firefighters, and 
military personnel who came from Mexico and Venezuela.

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