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Venezuela tank farm explosion blamed on “terrorist incursions”

14 March 2019

Two tanks containing thinners exploded on March 13 at a tank farm facility belonging to Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in eastern Anzoategui state. There have been no reports of victims as yet, according to local media. The blast occurred at the Petro San Felix facility located in San Diego de Cabrutica, the daily Ultimas Noticias reported via Twitter. 

Representative image - Shutterstock
Representative image - Shutterstock

Petro San Felix is located within the Jose Antonio Anzoategui (CIJAA) industrial complex, which covers some 7.4 sq km. Firefighters are on site, the daily said.

Venezuela's oil minister, Manuel Quevedo, said on Twitter that it was an attack designed to affect Venezuelan oil production, specifically accusing US Senator Marco Rubio and the head of the Venezuelan Parliament, Juan Guaidó, for “terrorist incursions” against the state.

The deputy José Brito, a native of Anzoátegui, told local media that three tanks had exploded so far and that authorities had activated emergency units to counter the risk of new explosions.

US sanctions from January have further squeezed the country’s economy, already suffering from decades of corruption and maladministration. Oil and gas infrastructure has not received vital maintenance and a number of oil leaks and explosions have happened in recent years, including a refinery explosion in 2012 that killed 49 and injured hundreds.

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