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.
California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated 2015-02-27 21:55
Parents in California are distraught after losing their infant son after being vaccinated. He died in his sleep and was taken to the hospital already deceased. Hospital staff ruled his death as sudden infant death syndrome. The couple was told an autopsy was required to be performed on their son.
After returning home, waiting to get an update, they never received ...
DNA: Data-storage for eternity 2015-02-27 20:57
How can we preserve our knowledge today for the next millennia? ETH researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, preserving it for nearly an eternity.
Scrolls thousands of years old provide us with a glimpse into long-forgotten cultures and the knowledge of our ancestors. In this digital era, in contrast, a large part of our ...
Hypercleanliness is making us sick - Children develop allergies and eczema 2015-02-27 20:31
Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet.
The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, ...