Cuba mourns firefighters killed in fuel depot blaze

Posted on

By Vanessa Buschschlüter
BBC News

Flags are flying at half mast in Cuba as the country mourns 16 firefighters who died while battling a blaze at the Matanzas fuel depot.
The fire broke out on 5 August after lightning struck a fuel tank at the depot on Cuba's northern coast.
It took firefighters almost a week to extinguish the huge blaze, which quickly spread to two further tanks, triggering explosions.
Officials said it was the worst fire in Cuban history.
Forensic scientists said that due to the extremely high temperatures inside the fuel depot, they had not been able to identify the remains of 14 of the 16 firefighters killed.
They said that while they knew who the 14 were who were fighting the blaze when the second tank exploded, they were not able to match the ashes they found to individuals.
"Given that the remains found were subjected to high temperatures for a long time, it is not possible to apply DNA extraction," the president of the Cuban Society of Legal Medicine said.
"We cannot differentiate one from the other," he added.
Four of the eight tanks at the Matanzas depot collapsed and a huge plume of black smoke rose from the site for days.
Thousands of local residents were evacuated and told to wear facemasks to avoid breathing in the smoke.
This video can not be played
Watch: Lightning strike causes major fire at Cuban fuel depot
Damage to Ukraine nuclear plant would be suicide – UN chief
Drone pilots mark targets for new Ukraine offensive
Children killed as storms sweep across Europe
Cheney vs Trump: Why it's not over yet
Impact crater may be dinosaur killer's baby cousin
Ditching French for English in Algeria
Why India forgot this freedom hero from the south
Bilkis Bano: The pain of seeing my rapists go free
Why Dijon disappeared from France
10 of the most ingenious buildings
Nasa readies giant Moon rocket for maiden flight
How to make movies without a huge carbon footprint
Turkey's massive subterranean city
The language with no known origin
Why overthinkers struggle with remote work
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.