Condolences for the victims of the fire and explosion at the base in Matanzas, Cuba
Telegram on behalf of the Holy Father Francis
@ Vatican Media
Last friday a major fire has broken out at the Matanzas base in Cuba after lightning struck a fuel storage tank at a depot in Matanzas.
A second storage tank exploded on Saturday morning and a third one today after the fire spread.
State TV reports that dozens of people are injured and that 17 firefighters are unaccounted for. The country’s health minister said on Twitter that several people are in a critical condition.
We publish below the telegram of condolences for the victims of the fire and explosion, sent – on behalf of the Holy Father Francis – by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to the Bishop of Holguín, President of the Cuban Episcopal Conference, H.E. Msgr. Emilio Aranguren Echeverría, President of the Cuban Episcopal Conference:
TO HIS EXCELLENCY
MONSIGNOR EMILIO ARANGUREN ECHEVERRÍA BISHOP OF HOLGUÍN
PRESIDENT OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CUBA
THE HOLY FATHER IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING THE NEWS OF THE UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT THAT HAS CAUSED A FIRE AND SEVERAL EXPLOSIONS AT THE MATANZAS SUPERTANKER BASE, WITH AT LEAST ONE DEATH AND NUMEROUS WOUNDED AND MISSING.
POPE FRANCISCO ALSO ASSURES THEM OF HIS SPIRITUAL CLOSENESS TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE AND TO ALL THE FAMILIES OF THOSE AFFECTED, AND PRAYS TO THE LORD TO GIVE THEM STRENGTH IN THIS MOMENT OF PAIN AND TO SUSTAIN THE WORK OF EXTINGUISHING THE FIRE AND THE SEARCH. WITH THESE SENTIMENTS, HE CORDIALLY IMPARTS TO THEM THE COMFORTING APOSTOLIC BLESSING, AS A PLEDGE OF HOPE IN THE RISEN CHRIST.