News Agency Cuba city Havana president Government Citi News Agency Cuba city Havana

Lightning strike sparks massive fire at Cuban crude oil site; 17 firefighters missing

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HAVANA - Lightning struck a crude oil storage tank in the city of Matanzas, causing a spreading fire that led to four explosions which injured nearly 80 people and left 17 firefighters missing, Cuban authorities said Saturday.Firefighters and other specialists were still trying to quell the blaze at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, which began during a thunderstorm Friday night, the Ministry of Energy and Mines tweeted.The official Cuban News Agency said the lightning strike set one tank on fire and the blaze later spread to a second tank.The Facebook page of the provincial government of Matanzas said the number of injured had reached 77, while 17 people were missing.

The Presidency of the Republic said the 17 were "firefighters who were in the nearest area trying to prevent the spread."The accident comes as Cuba struggles with fuel shortages.

There was no immediate word on how much oil had burned or was in danger at the tank farm, which stores oil used to fuel electricity production."I was in the gym when I felt the first explosion.

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