The Cuban Government Identifies Four Young People in Military Service Killed in the Matanzas Fire

The authorities have released a list with their names and photos. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 August 2022 — On Thursday, and without giving details about the age and exact function of the 14 men who died on August 6 in the explosion of one of the tanks set on fire in Matanzas, the Cuban authorities identified the victims.

Faced with the silence of the Government since the accident occurred, family and friends identified some of the deceased on social networks and independent media. But only today has the official Cuban press released a list with their names and photos, but without their ages; at least four of them were recruits of active military service.

The young people going through military service, described as soldiers by the official newspaper Granma, are: Leo Alejandro Doval del Prado, Adriano Rodríguez and Fabián Naranjo Nuñez, from Matanzas, and Michel Rodríguez Román, from Mayabeque.

Leo Alejandro Doval del Prado, 19, had been presumed dead by his aunt Yunia Doval and other relatives. “I don’t love you as a hero, my boy, I prefer you as a coward!” Doval wrote on Facebook. “I have always admired your values, and we, your family, know that you are not one of those who run, without imagining that today I would prefer you to have fled. I would feel the same pride if you came home now saying that suddenly you became cowardly, rebellious, defiant and got off the fire truck, because in the end, you would not be one of them.”

Days ago, official journalists mentioned Michel Rodríguez Román, 20, among the deceased, but then deleted the information. Resident in the municipality of Santa Cruz del Norte, Mayabeque, he was serving in Fire Command number 3 of Juan Gualberto Gómez airport in Varadero.

Another of the deceased is Fabián Naranjo Nuñez, initially also identified in his relatives’ posts on social networks. The young man, of unknown age, did his military service in the same fire command. “We don’t know anything about this boy. Please, if anyone sees him in any of the hospitals, let us know,” Yanelys Naranjo González wrote on Facebook.

The Cuban authorities concluded on Wednesday that it’s “impossible to identify absolutely” the bone remains found in the fire area. Jorge González Pérez, president of the Cuban Society of Forensic Medicine, pointed out that — despite the fact that they cannot undergo a DNA test due to the degree of calcination — they believe that the fragments correspond to the 14 missing people.

In this group there are also Pablo Ángel López Martell, Rolando Oviedo Sosa, Osley Marrante Guerra, Luis Ángel Álvarez Leyva, Andy Michel Ramos, Osmany Blasco Sosa, Raciel Martínez Navarro, Diosdel Nazco, Areskys Quintero and Luis Raúl Aguilar Zamora.

González Pérez said that it’s also impossible to know if each of the 14 groups of bone remains belong to each of the 14 missing separately.

In addition to these victims, two deaths had already been reported, firefighters Juan Carlos Santana Garrido, 60, and  Elier Correa, 24 years old.

The last report of the Ministry of Public Health on the accident records, in addition to the deaths, 130 injured people, of which 18 are still hospitalized and 112 discharged.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.