An explosion rocked the Amuay oil refinery in northwestern Venezuela, killing 39 people, including a 10-year-old boy, a Venezuelan official said Saturday.
[RIC Update: AFP reports most recently that the devastating fire that followed an explosion at Venezuela’s main oil refinery killed 41 people, and injured more than 80. August 27, 2012]
More than 80 people were injured, Vice President Elias Jaua told state-run VTV.
"People are very scared," said Falcon State Gov. Stella Lugo, according to the state-run AVN news agency. "They evacuated the areas that had to be evacuated, but the situation, as the technicians are telling within the refinery, is controlled."
President Hugo Chavez decreed three days of mourning and gave his condolences to families of the victims.
The incident occurred at 1:11 a.m. when "we had a release of gas whose origin we are going to determine," Rafael Ramirez, president of the state-owned petroleum company PDVSA, told VTV. "The gas generated a cloud that then exploded and provoked fires in at least two tanks of the refinery and in the surrounding areas."
He said the explosion damaged the infrastructure of the refinery and nearby houses.
The refinery -- one of the world’s largest -- is part of the giant Paraguana complex in Falcon state.
Venezuela, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is one of the world’s largest oil exporters.
Oregon Is First State to Charge Drivers for Each Mile They Drive 2015-07-07 19:18
When he's not riding his bicycle, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, said he's driving a fuel-efficient hybrid, and that's a problem, because it means he's not paying his "fair share" for highway maintenance.
Blumenauer says that's why he signed up for OReGO, the nation's first program to charge drivers based on the number of miles they drive.
The program launched on ...
Burger King sells gay pride Whopper 2015-07-07 19:06
Burger King has concocted yet another way to have it your way: a gay pride burger.
The Proud Whopper, as it's called, comes wrapped in a rainbow colored wrapper with this inscription: "We are all the same inside." It will be sold through Thursday at one Burger King restaurant on San Francisco's Market Street, that was at the heart of the ...
EU official: Migrant boats also carrying IS fighters 2015-07-07 19:06
The European Union's top prosecutor said Monday she has been told that smugglers' boats bringing migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe are also carrying Islamic State group fighters.
Michele Coninsx, head of the EU's judicial cooperation agency Eurojust, told reporters she received the information as part of the organization's efforts to help EU nations jointly respond to illegal immigration, terrorism and ...
Human molar scaffolding 2015-07-07 18:45
The loss of a tooth is a minor deformity and a major pain. Although dental implants are available, the healing process can take months on end, and implants that fail to align with the ever-growing jawbone tend to fall out. If only adult teeth could be regenerated, right?
According to a study published in the latest Journal of Dental Research, a ...