Cuba's polluting sugar-refining complex

Published: Thursday 15 June 2006

An industrial sugar-refining complex in the Cuban province of Matanzas has been blamed for underground build-up of methane gas and other environment violations.

A government news daily reported the Jess Rab agro-industrial complex in Calimete, a municipality in Matanzas, had put thousands at risk. Officials found the company's refinery and distillery discharged their untreated waste into a ditch, contaminating groundwater. The discharge leaked into the subsoil and created underground pockets of methane, which is inflammable when mixed with air.

In cold weather, the methane accumulated in people's houses, leaking through floor tiles, chinks in walls and floors or into courtyards through cracks in the ground. This had caused many accidents due to fire.

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