At least 121 injured as firefighters battle vast blaze at Cuban oil facility

At least 121 injured as firefighters battle vast blaze at Cuban oil facility

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Cuban firefighters were joined by special teams sent by Mexico and Venezuela on Sunday as they battled for a second day to control a fire blazing at a big oil tank farm in the western province of Matanzas.

Authorities said Sunday that a body found at the site had been identified as firefighter Juan Carlos Santana, 60.    

The fire, set off by a lightning strike Friday night, left 122 others injured, including five in critical condition, according to the latest update from authorities. Officials previously said a group of 17 firefighters had gone missing while trying to quell flames.

More than 4,900 have been evacuated, according to The Associated Press. Most evacuees are from the Dubrocq neighborhood, which is next to the Matanzas Supertanker Base in Matanzas city. The facility’s eight huge storage tanks hold oil used to fuel electricity generation.

FIRE AT CUBAN OIL FACILITY LEAVES 1 DEAD, 121 INJURED: OFFICIALS

People watch a huge plume of smoke rise from the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters work to douse a fire, which started during a thunderstorm the night before, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 6, 2022. Cuban authorities say lightning struck a crude oil storage tank at the base, sparking a fire that ignited four explosions that injured more than 121 people, left one person dead and 17 missing. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

People watch a huge plume of smoke rise from the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters work to douse a fire, which started during a thunderstorm the night before, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 6, 2022. Cuban authorities say lightning struck a crude oil storage tank at the base, sparking a fire that ignited four explosions that injured more than 121 people, left one person dead and 17 missing. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Members of the Cuban Red Cross prepare to head out to the Matanzas Supertanker Base, where firefighters were working to quell a blaze that began during a thunderstorm the night before, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Members of the Cuban Red Cross prepare to head out to the Matanzas Supertanker Base, where firefighters were working to quell a blaze that began during a thunderstorm the night before, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A helicopter dumps water over the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters try to quell a blaze, which began during a thunderstorm the night before, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A helicopter dumps water over the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters try to quell a blaze, which began during a thunderstorm the night before, in Matanzas, Cuba, Aug. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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Dense black smoke billowed up from the tank farm and spread westward more than 62 miles to Havana. The Ministry of Science and Technology said the cloud contained sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and other toxic substances.

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The disaster comes as Cuba struggles with a severe economic and energy crisis, with frequent power blackouts hitting during a torrid summer and fuel shortages in the country. It remains unclear how much oil has been burned or is in danger at the storage facility.

Fox News’ Landon Mion and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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