A huge explosion rocked Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery early on Saturday - killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 80 others in the worst disaster in memory for the country’s key oil industry. Balls of fire rose over the Amuay refinery, one of the largest in the world, and lit up the night sky as firefighters struggled to contain the burning blaze. The explosion shattered walls of nearby shops, ripped out windows from homes and left the surrounding streets covered with rubble and twisted scraps of metal. At least 86 people were injured, nine of them seriously, the country’s health minister said at a hospital where the injured were taken. She said 77 people suffered light injuries and were released. Flames reaching nearly 100 feet into the air still crackled almost 20 hours after the explosion - giving off searing heat felt by the residents of a neighbourhood approximately 1000 feet away.
Fires raged on at Venezuela’s biggest refinery on Sunday after an explosion tore through the facility a day earlier, killing at least 39 people, wounding dozens and halting production in what is the worst accident to hit the OPEC nation’s oil industry. The explosion at the Amuay refinery destroyed nearby homes and shattered a National Guard building in the area and officials said a 10-year-old child was among the dead. A gas leak caused the explosion and most of those killed were National Guard troops who were providing security for the 645000 barrel-per-day facility, officials said.