Venezuela refinery blast toll rises to 48, fire spreads



Venezuela refinery blast toll rises to 48, fire spreads Zeenews Bureau

Caracas: The official death toll in Venezuela refinery oil blast has now risen to 48 even as the fire continues to spread and has reached the third tank on Monday.

Over 150 people were injured in the blast that took place on Saturday at the Amuay oil refinery, Venezuela's largest oil refinery, with an initial capacity of processing 650,000 barrels of oil per day.

President Hugo Chavez ordered an investigation into Venezuela refinery blast.

Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez initially said that a gas leak had caused the blast that also caused "significant damage to the infrastructure" and houses in front of the refinery.

Among those killed, there was a 10-year-old child and 17 were members of the country's National Guard who were protecting the refining facility, officials said.

The refinery is owned by Petroleos de Venezuela SA. It is located in the Paraguana Peninsula, 350 km from Caracas.

(With Agency Inputs)