INTRODUCTION: A huge oil fire in Jamaica raged for more than two days before it was put out by firemen on Monday (12 January).
SV Smoke pouring from Esso storage tanks behind sign
GV Flames and smoke pouring from tank PAN TO fire hoses directed onto blaze PAN TO sign on side of tank reading "Diesel Fuel" (2 shots)
SV Twisted metal burning and fire hoses in action
GV Flames and smoke pouring from tank
CU Flames and smoke as water and foam sprayed onto burning tank
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A huge oil fire in Jamaica raged for more than two days before it was put out by firemen on Monday (12 January). Four oil storage tanks were set alight at the Esso terminal in Montego Bay and losses were expected to be about 10 million dollars.
SYNOPSIS: The fire, which started on Saturday (10 January), was one of the largest in the island's history. More than four hundred Jamaicans fought the blaze, helped by experts and equipment from the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Five firemen were injured. Thousands of barrels of kerosene and petrol caught fire when three oil storage tank was ablaze.
Police thought the fire was started deliberately after eyewitnesses said they saw someone running away from the tanks. The inferno raged only about one and a half kilometres (one mile) from Montego Bay's residential areas, but police said they were in no danger.
After the blaze was extinguished on Monday morning, a chartered aircraft carrying gallons of foam arrived from the United States to help with cooling down operations. Mr. Edward Seaga, Jamaica's Prime Minister ordered tight security at all oil facilities on the island. So far, the cause of the fire has not been discovered.