An accident with a safety valve at the Tínima brewery in Camagüey caused a leak of about 40 kilograms of ammonia on Tuesday. As explained by the directors of the company to the official press, “the foot valve was tampered with and closed on time.” Officials also assured that the loss of gas does not constitute a “major” event.
However, at least 14 students from that center were transferred to the city’s North Polyclinic, and 12 of them were later referred to the Pediatric Hospital in Camagüey.
In its twitter account, the Government of Camagüey reported that the patients “received medical care for mild symptoms and by protocol they are under observation.” Contradictorily, the entity ensures that patients are in “perfect health.”
Despite the fact that the factory claims to have “security protocols” and “warning plans”, the escape affected the student body of the Máximo Gómez Joint Center, a former vocational pre-university school in Camagüey that is located in the vicinity of the company.
The fire brigade, the Ministry of the Interior and various soldiers went to the factory “to analyze the problem.” However, “the authorities remain investigating the causes” and expect new parts to resume production. Lieutenant Colonel Félix Villegas Varona, who heads the municipality’s Civil Defense body, put the factory under surveillance for 24 hours, “as established for centers that handle dangerous toxic substances.”
The newspaper Ahead described the events as “a practical and real exercise that tested the response capacity of the Civil Defense, in order to preserve the most precious thing in Cuba: human life.”
“I have always wondered who was the genius who came up with the idea of putting such a dangerous factory so close to a school that housed two or three thousand children and adolescents”
The Tínima brewery was founded in 1985 with technology and personnel from the German Democratic Republic. The official encyclopedia ecured defines the company as an attempt by Fidel Castro to “add the brewing process to the manufacturing program that was taking place [en el país]which could be achieved with the collaboration of the tradition and experience of German breweries”.
“I have always wondered who was the genius who came up with the idea of putting such a dangerous factory so close to a school that housed two or three thousand children and adolescents,” wrote on facebook the journalist Henry Constantín Ferreiro, who was a vocational pre-university student and experienced one of the “security evacuations” caused by the industry.
“I can imagine the scene: students running, scared messages and calls from parents, teachers trying to keep order,” he added.
Several national television reports They have dedicated themselves to the damage and lack of maintenance that the factory traditionally suffers. Operating optimally until the arrival of the Special Period, since then the manufacturing mechanism has been characterized by occasional ammonia leaks and numerous technical flaws.
However, one note of the newspaper Ahead asserts that, despite the failure, “about a year and a half ago, the factory carried out several maintenance actions on the installation, valves were acquired and all those of the stations and chambers, as well as the evaporative condensers, were repaired, in addition to rationalizing faulty pumps”.
According to the Camagüeyan press, the school continues its teaching activities normally. Likewise, Ahead notified that “the company awaits the arrival of two new certified valves”, intended to replace the part that caused the ammonia leak.
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