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August 30, 2012

Gas station blast injures 31 in Cuba; 5 'grave'

The Associated Press

HAVANA — An explosion ripped through a gas station in the eastern city of Santiago, injuring 31 people, including five seriously, Cuban state media reported Wednesday.

The blast happened Tuesday evening when the driver of a government-operated truck struck a gas tank, which tipped over and spilled its contents, the Sierra Maestra newspaper said on its website.

"Even as firefighters urgently tried to contain the spill, specialists agree that among a group of people nearby, a spark originated that ignited the spill and the fire extended to the tanks, causing the explosion," Sierra Maestra said.

State television broadcast images of a completely charred gas station, but the blaze was extinguished before it could spread to other buildings.

The victims were taken to a burn unit at a nearby hospital, and five were in "very grave condition," Sierra Maestra added.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Authorities were investigating.


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