At least 98 people have died after two oil tanks erupted at Tacao, 32 kilometres (24 miles) north-west of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela on December 20.
1. AERIAL VIEW Smoke bellows from factory. 0.11
2. GV ZOOM Fire and black smoke from refinery plant. 0.26
3. SV Interior hospital. People being brought in on stretchers (4 SHOTS) 0.50
4. SV Exterior Firemen carry away body as fire continues. (2 SHOTS) 1.02
5. SV Burnt out truck. 1.19
6. SV Firemen bring out more bodies from burning flames. 1.38
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: TACAO, VENEZUELA
At least 98 people have died after two oil tanks erupted at Tacao, 32 kilometres (24 miles) north-west of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela on December 20. A police spokesman said the final death toll could not be given as efforts were continuing to identify all of the bodies. Some 40,000 residents have been evacuated from the area, including the hundreds who have been made homeless by the blast which put the 1,700 megawatt power station out of action indefinitely. Fire department officials with 14 of their own men dead, said rescue work was being hindered by the heat of the blaze. Caracas was partially blacked out as a result of the explosion and traffic-light failures caused chaos on the streets. Several high rise buildings had to be abandoned after air-conditioning and lifts broke down. The chaos was caused when one, then another fuel tank exploded. The first tank was almost empty, but the second contained 130,000 barrels of oil and the blast was felt 30 kilometres (20 miles away. It is not yet known what caused the explosion at the plant, owned by the Electricidad de Caracas company. The firm's president, Oscar Zuloaga, said he was watching the blaze when the second tank exploded and told reporters he had suffered slight burns. Company spokesman say the blaze has been brought under control, but several storage tanks are reported to be still smouldering. The plant, which supplies most of the electricity for Caracas, has been closed down as a precaution.
Source: CHANNEL 8 TV, VENEZUELA