Massive explosion at oil refinery in Venezuela leaves 41 dead
A massive explosion at the largest oil refinery in Venezuela killed at least 41 people and injured more than 80. From the Guardian:
Officials at the 645,000 barrel-per-day Amuay refinery were on Sunday trying to stop the fire still raging at two storage tanks from spreading to other nearby fuel storage facilities. That would delay Amuay’s restart beyond the current estimate of two days.
More than 200 homes were reported damaged by the shockwave. Some were across the street from the refinery, which is on a peninsula in the Caribbean Sea in western Venezuela.
Puddles of petroleum mixed with water covered roads in the area. The victims from Saturday’s blast included 18 national guard troops and 15 civilians; six remained unidentified.
Prior to the explosion, residents described smelling gas, though the government denied that a leak was to blame for the blast.
The refinery remains offline, contributing, along with the anticipated impacts of Tropical Storm Isaac, to a rise in the price of oil.
Venezuela oil refinery explosion: Chávez denies warnings were ignored, Guardian.