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    Díaz-Canel about the fire in Matanzas: It was hard but we are going to get ahead

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    "It was hard but we are going to get ahead," this Thursday, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party and President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, said at the foot of what was left of tank 51 - known by the population like two because it was the second to explode after the fire —, during a tour of the Matanzas Supertanker Base, where the hustle and bustle is constant to erase the traces of a fire of very large proportions.

    After visiting the province of Villa Clara in the morning, the president arrived at the Matanzas Industrial Zone around three in the afternoon, to check the work being carried out on the site affected by a fire that started on August 5, after an electrical discharge in one of its fuel tanks and could be extinguished a week later, with the painful balance of 16 people dead and four tanks totally destroyed.

    At the scene, directors of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) and the Cuban Petroleum Union (CUPET) explained to the Head of State that they are working on the demolition of tank 51, after a complex process to cut the metal with specialized machines. At this time, work is being done on cleaning the interior of what remained of the tank, fundamentally petroleum coke is being extracted, to later verify if the base of the tank did not suffer structural damage.

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    The specialists declared that, if it is verified that the structure where the fuel tank was built is not damaged, the first tank would be built there, for which a good part of the materials are available. Raising a first tank here, Díaz-Canel pointed out, would be a great victory after such hard work.

    As it became known, the forecast is that in 90 days the four damaged tanks may be demolished. To do this, men and women from various areas of the country work intensely for 12 hours a day, "until we have sunlight," they told the president, who then inquired about food, accommodation and care, "because work here is very hard and they have to get their strength back”.

    The first secretary of the Party in Matanzas, Susely Morfa González, specified that their accommodation has been guaranteed, food has been reinforced, drinking water is constantly provided in the work areas and in the next few hours a health post will be set up to constant attention to those who practically do not rest.

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    The President insisted on the need for the Industrial Zone to recover and be much better than before. This facility has to be beautiful, well organized, because it is one of the most important parts of the province, the development zone of this city, he said.

    Regarding the projects that are planned to locate the new tanks in the future, directors of MINEM and CUPET commented to the President that elements such as the direction of the wind, the space between the fuel tanks and the strength of the buckets are being taken into consideration. "This has been a lesson, from the bad things that happen to us we have to draw lessons and experiences so that they do not happen to us again," Díaz-Canel stressed.

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    Under an intense sun and among the hardness of the damage left by the fire, the President walked the area and talked with the workers who dismantle the deformed structures after so many hours under flames. He recognized them for the work and heroism they are doing.