Each of the missions spilled some 2,500 liters of water on the fire, which started last Friday when lightning struck a tank containing millions of liters of hydrocarbons.
The explosions, with columns of fire of several tens of meters, created a curtain of thick black smoke that has made it impossible for experts to analyze the situation on the ground. The fire, now out of control, could continue for days.
Specifically, the extent of the damage to the third and fourth fuel tanks, each of which has about 50,000 cubic meters of storage capacity, is unknown.
Homenaje a los Bomberos de Cuba, donde se reportan 17 efectivos desaparecidos durante las labores de extinción del incendio en la refinería de Matanzas �� pic.twitter.com/cEQ4fgbqpY
The tweet reads, "Tribute to the firefighters of Cuba, where there are 17 missing personnel during the work of extinguishing the Matanzas refinery fire."
"High temperatures have made the work very difficult. A chain reaction has made it practically impossible to put out the fire," admitted Alexander Avalos, deputy head of the National Extinction Department of the Cuban Fire Department.
At the Supertanker Base, there are 8 storage tanks, four of which are in danger due to the high temperatures of the fire and the wind in the area.
As a result of the recent explosions and the profusion of smoke at ground level, the Cuban firefighters have not been able to use a powerful hydraulic pump installed by the cooperation teams from Venezuela and Mexico.