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Venezuelan Refinery Under Scrutiny After Deadly Blaze

Fires continue to rage at Venezuela’s Amuay refinery after an early morning explosion shook the facility on August 25th and killed at least 42 people and wounded dozens more as well as demolishing hundreds of homes. The explosion has turned into the worlds deadliest refinery accident in the last 15 years. The exact causes haven’t been determined, but Energy Minister Rafael Ramírez, president of the state’s oil company Petróoleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), said on Venezuelan television that “All this happened very fast, and the explosion occurred almost immediately,” Ramírez said. “I don’t think there is enough information about this incident at this point, but obviously I think all of the oil industry and the government agencies that have some responsibility for refinery safety are going to be very interested in finding out what happened and what lessons can be learned,” said Don Holmstrom of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, (CSB) the independent federal agency responsible for investigating all U.S. industrial chemical accidents.

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