Global Processing

Deadly explosion rocks Venezuela’s largest oil refinery

August 27, 2012

CARACAS, Venezuela — At least 39 people were killed and 80 others were injured Saturday when a natural gas explosion erupted at Venezuela’s largest oil refinery, Fox News reported.

The explosion and fire at the Amuay refinery was one of the deadliest disasters to ever hit Venezuela’s oil industry.

The blast occurred at about 1:15 a.m. when a cloud of natural gas from a leaky pipe ignited.

"That gas generated a cloud that later exploded and has caused fires in at least two tanks of the refinery and surrounding areas," Oil Minister Rafel Ramirez said.

A panel of investigators has been formed to determine the cause of the gas leak.

Amuay is part of the Paraguana Refinery Complex, which processes about 900,000 barrels of crude per day and 200,000 barrels of gasoline.