Venezuelan oil refinery explosion kills 26
CARACAS, Venezuela (KABC) -- At least 26 people were killed and 86 others were injured in a huge explosion at Venezuela's biggest oil refinery Saturday, making it the deadliest disaster in memory for the country's key oil industry.
The blast occurred about 1:15 a.m. when a gas leak created a cloud that ignited, officials said. An adjacent National Guard post was severely damaged by the blast, along with nearby homes, he said.
Officials said those killed included a 10-year-old boy, and that 17 of the 26 victims were National Guard troops stationed at the post next to the refinery.
Government officials pledged to restart the refinery within two days and said the country has plenty of fuel supplies on hand to meet its domestic needs as well as its export commitments.
President Hugo Chavez declared three days of mourning in the country and ordered a "deep investigation" to determine what caused the explosion.
"This affects all of us," Chavez said by phone on state television. "It's very sad, very painful."
While the cause of the disaster was unclear, some critics of President Chavez's government have recently pointed to increasing numbers of smaller accidents and spills as an indication of problems within the state-run company.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
explosion, world news
- Secret Service probe Target security breach
- Fire erupts at strip mall in Hawthorne 56 min ago
- Kelly Thomas trial: Defense rests its case
- LA Council speaks on immigration deportations
- South LA grandmother found dead in apartment
- IE man who died in custody was high on PCP
- Man convicted at 16 resentenced under new law
- $5.8M settlement reached in Calif. race crash
- abcnews: DA pushes to jail 'affluenza' teen
- Congress passes bipartisan budget agreement
- Mexico resort shootout: 5 dead in Rocky Point
- Electroporation may treat melanoma patients
- 'Anchorman 2' is overhyped, but still funny
- OTRC: Justin Bieber retiring? Manager responds