Pope Francis lamented this Monday the serious industrial fire unleashed at the Supertanker Base in Matanzas (western Cuba), which so far has caused the death of a firefighter, more than 120 people injured, and other 14 missing, as two of the initial estimates were found in hospitals. He conveyed his closeness to those affected.
“The Holy Father is closely following the news arriving about the unfortunate accident that has caused a fire and several explosions at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, with at least one deceased and numerous wounded and missing,” wrote Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin in a telegram to the bishop of Holguín and president of the Episcopal Conference of Cuba, Emilio Aranguren Echeverría.
“Pope Francis affirms his spiritual closeness to the Cuban people and to all the families of those affected, and he prays to the Lord to grant them strength in this time of pain and the efforts of extinction and search. With these sentiments, he imparts the comforting apostolic blessing to them from the heart,” concluded the message quoted by the Spanish EFE news agency.
The incident of great magnitude was set off last Friday by an electrical discharge that affected a tank that stored national crude oil, according to the first investigations. A total of 4,000 people were evacuated from homes near the site. The fire has already affected three deposits.