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CTS Group’s Gert van Meijeren shares his preliminary observations from the fire at Cuba’s main oil terminal in Matanzas.

The recent tragic tank fire at Matanzas, Cuba, has attracted a lot of attention. 16 firefighters lost their lives and four large hydrocarbon tanks were destroyed in the blaze. The incident generated many public comments, but very few address the initial full-surface fire incident and the following fire response efforts. Also, many comments ignore the fact that the incident started in a tank that immediately had a full-surface fire; clearly storing a product above its flash point.

At the time of writing this piece, there was no access to complete or accurate tank configuration data or incident data for the incident involved. As such, the following article is restricted by data in the public domain. For example, it is not known whether the initial tank had a floating roof or a nitrogen blanket. A full and detailed professional investigation will be of great importance to ...

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