VIDEO: Massive fire rages on at Cuban oil facility after lightning strike, at least 125 injured - GulfToday

VIDEO: Massive fire rages on at Cuban oil facility after lightning strike, at least 125 injured

Flames rise from a massive fire at a fuel depot sparked by a lightning strike in Matanzas, Cuba. AFP

Gulf Today Report

A massive fire at a large oil storage facility in Cuba spread to a third tank that firefighters had tried to cool as they struggled to fight the blaze.

Authorities said at least one person has died and 125 have been injured.

Around 14 others have been missing since lightning struck one of the facility's eight tanks on Friday night.

A second tank caught fire on Saturday, causing several explosions at the facility, which plays a vital role in Cuba's electrical system.

"The hazard that we announced occurred, and the fire of the second tank compromised the third one,” said Mario Sabines, governor of the western province of Matanzas, where the facility is located. Firefighters sprayed water on the remaining tanks over the weekend to cool them and try to stop the fire from spreading.

The governments of Mexico and Venezuela have sent special teams to help put out the fire, with water cannon, planes and helicopters battling fire from different directions as military construction specialists erected barriers to contain oil spills.

Local authorities have warned residents to use face masks or stay indoors, given the billowing smoke shrouding the region that can be seen from the capital Havana, located more than 100 kilometers away.

Officials warned that the cloud contained sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and other toxic substances.

Most of the injured were treated for burns and smoke inhalation and five of them remain in critical condition.

A total of 24 people remain hospitalized.

Over the weekend, authorities found the body of a firefighter as relatives of the missing gathered at a hotel awaiting news of their loved ones.

Sabines and Cuban President Miguel DíazCanel said it was impossible to search for the missing firefighters given the scorching temperatures.