The Fort Worth Press - Second firefighter dies after Cuban fuel depot blaze

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Second firefighter dies after Cuban fuel depot blaze
Second firefighter dies after Cuban fuel depot blaze / Photo: © AFP

Second firefighter dies after Cuban fuel depot blaze

Cuban authorities said Thursday a second firefighter has died battling a days-long blaze at a fuel depot that has also left nearly three dozen people missing or injured.

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The 24-year-old firefighter from the country's east had been receiving hospital treatment for serious burns suffered combatting the inferno.

Another 14 missing firefighters are also feared dead while more than 20 people are receiving hospital treatment.

"Overnight a patient died who was in an extremely critical condition," said Health Minister Jose Angel Portal, quoted by the presidency's Twitter account.

The body of a 60-year-old firefighter had been found in the disaster zone at the weekend.

Cuba's fire brigade said Wednesday the fire, which started last Friday after lightning struck one of the tanks at the depot outside the western city of Matanzas, was under control, although the flames were not fully extinguished.

"In 48 hours it should be possible to enter the place of the fire and recover the bodies of those missing," the fire brigade said Thursday.

Authorities said air surveillance flights had noticed a reduction in the amount of smoke coming from the site.

Four of the eight tanks at the depot -- each with the capacity to hold 50 million liters (13.2 million gallons) of fuel -- collapsed during the blaze that injured more than 100 people.

L.Rodriguez--TFWP