Cuba Contacts the United States to Rehabilitate the Area of the Matanzas Fire

Specialists from the Ministry of Public Health were searching for human remains in the area of the fire. (José Ángel Portal Miranda)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 27 August 2022 — Cuba maintained a dialogue with experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA), to learn about rehabilitation techniques for the area affected by the industrial fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, the Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.

Cuban experts asked EPA members for “their assessment of the actions already taken” in the area during a virtual meeting last Wednesday.

Representatives of the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment — among other institutions — presented “the main tasks undertaken since the fire was declared extinguished” on August 12, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, the Island’s specialists requested “the possibility of accessing the most innovative techniques and procedures accumulated both by the EPA, as well as by companies linked to the oil sector and other agencies involved in these types of accidents,” the source added.

In a statement released on Friday, the Cuban Foreign Ministry highlighted the “professional and profitable exchange” atmosphere of the meeting where they also talked about “possible ways of cooperation” in the rehabilitation of the area consumed by the fire.

On August 5, a fire of enormous proportions broke out at the Matanzas fuel tank base, when lightning struck 1 of the 8 tanks of the industrial park, according to the Cuban authorities.

Four of the eight tanks of the storage base — the largest facility of its kind on the Island to receive and store crude oil — burned completely, causing explosions and flares of several hundreds of feet.

The column of smoke was seen in neighboring provinces such as Mayabeque and Havana, the latter located 60 miles away.

During the first stages of the fire, Cuba confirmed and thanked the offer of “technical advice” from the United States, although nothing materialized from it.

In the accident, 16 people — mostly firefighters — lost their lives, while another 146 were injured and 15 of them remain hospitalized.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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