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Latino Daily News

Monday April 2, 2012

Venezuela Oil Blast Kills One, Injures Three

Venezuela Oil Blast Kills One, Injures Three

Photo: Deadly Accident at Venezuela's PDVSA

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

At least one worker was killed and three others were injured in an explosion over the weekend at a refinery in eastern Venezuela operated by Petrocedeño, which is owned by state-owned PDVSA, France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil, PDVSA said.

The accident occurred Sunday when workers “were installing a water separator, which caused the explosion in the area,” Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, said in a statement.

The blast happened at Petrocedeño’s facility in Anzoategui, a state in northeastern Venezuela, “but operations were restored immediately,” PDVSA said.

The situation was brought “completely under control by the petroleum industry’s Emergency Security and Control team,” the state-owned oil company said.

Carlos Alberto Machuca, 33, died in the blast, while David Hernandez, 31, suffered second-degree burns and Alexis Mata and Hermes Martinez experienced respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation, PDVSA said.

All of the injured workers are being treated by doctors and are listed in stable condition, the state-owned oil company said.

A team has been formed “to investigate the causes that gave rise to the situation,” PDVSA said.

PDVSA has a 60 percent stake in Petrocedeño, while Total has a 30.3 percent interest and Statoil owns a 9.7 percent stake.