Firefighters finally put out blaze at Venezuela refinery

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Firefighters finally put out blaze at Venezuela refinery

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Firefighters finally put out blaze at Venezuela refinery

by AFP Videos 1:26 mins

Firefighters finally put out blaze at Venezuela refinery

by AFP Videos 1:26 mins

SHOTLIST:Paranagua, Venezuela, 28 August 2012, Source: AFPTV (Access All)1 min 26s of images including:--General view of Venezuelan Amuay oil refinery, with the last of the fire being put out-People watching the fire being put out-General view of Venezuelan Amuay oil refinery.- Local residents evacuating the surroundings of the Venezuelan Amuay oil refinery, with the last of the fire smoking in the background//AFP Text Story:-Venezuela-oil-accident,3rdlead Chavez eyes political fallout from deadly refinery fire ATTENTION - ADDS Ramirez quote, Capriles quotes, background /// PUNTO FIJO, Venezuela, Aug 28, 2012 (AFP) - Venezuela declared an end to its deadliest refinery disaster Tuesday, three days after an explosion and fire killed more than 40 people and unleashed an outpouring of criticism of President Hugo Chavez. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said firefighters had finally put out the fire at the Amuay oil refinery, the country's largest, which spread to three storage tanks before being brought under control on Tuesday. "With the expertise, skill and knowledge of our boys, we can finally tell the world that this is absolutely controlled. It was contained and now the fire has been extinguished," Ramirez told reporters at the refinery complex. Earlier, sources at state-run Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) had said the fire was put out in the last storage tank early Tuesday, only to have it flare up again in the morning as remnants of fuel inside burned off. Ramirez, who is also president of PDVSA, said the site was in a "cooling" phase. The blaze has been a major political embarrassment for Chavez, an anti-American firebrand who is in the midst of a campaign for re-election October 7 while recovering from a serious bout with cancer. Angrily brushing aside accusations of declining maintenance and safety at the plant, Chavez ordered an investigation into the cause of the massive explosion that ripped through the refinery early Saturday. Falcon Governor Stella Lugo said 48 people were killed in the conflagration, but Venezuelan attorney general Luis Ortega put the toll at 41 dead. At least 20 members of a national guard unit assigned to protect the facility were killed, along with some members of their families. The refinery is located in a residential and commercial complex where workers live with their relatives and poor families who settled in surrounding neighborhoods. Lugo said said 520 houses near the refinery had been affected by the disaster, and residents could be seen Tuesday removing belongings with the held of national guard troops. Chavez, 58, toured the scene dressed in mourner's black and hugged weeping family members. In power since 1999, Chavez dismissed charges of neglect at the country's premier refinery and urged Venezuelans to "move on" after the tragedy.

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