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Venezuela Says Refinery Blaze Extinguished

  • VOA News

A fire burned for a third day in two fuel storage tanks at Venezuela's biggest refinery, August 27, 2012.

A fire burned for a third day in two fuel storage tanks at Venezuela's biggest refinery, August 27, 2012.

Venezuelan firefighters have extinguished a large fuel tank fire at the country's largest refinery, more than three days after a massive explosion that killed 48 people.
State television said the blaze was put out early Tuesday. Dozens of people were hurt in the pre-dawn blast Saturday that sparked the fire, and hundreds of nearby homes and businesses were damaged.
Venezuelan officials say they suspect a gas leak caused the blast.
President Hugo Chavez, in the midst of a re-election bid, visited the Amuay facility Sunday and declared three days of mourning. He rejected suggestions that negligence caused the explosion and fire.
The Venezuelan leader said he was creating a $23 million fund to pay for the clean-up and to replace the homes destroyed in the explosion. Officials said oil refining at the facility could resume later in the week.
The Venezuelan explosion and the shutdown of U.S. Gulf Coast refineries with the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac helped boost gasoline prices Monday to near a four-month high. Oil prices initially rose, but then retreated on speculation that the storm's effect might prove to be limited.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
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