Venezuela refinery to reopen in 2 days following deadly blast (VIDEO)


A controlled flame burns behind a storage tank in the oil refinery complex of Amuay-Cardon in Paraguana, located about 350 miles West of Caracas, Venezuela. Amuay-Cardon, one of the world's largest oil refineries, suffered an explosion that killed at least 26 people Saturday.


Kimberly White

A Venezuela refinery plant will likely reopen in two days following a blast Saturday that killed 39 people and injured more than 80 others, the country's energy minister said.

Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez reiterated Sunday that no production units had been affected by Saturday's pre-dawn explosion at the Amuay refinery, one of the world's biggest.

More from GlobalPost: Venezuela refinery blast kills at least 39 (VIDEO)

He told Reuters the fire was now contained to two storage tanks.

The cause of the disaster remained under investigation, although nearby residents told The Associated Press they noticed a strong odor of sulphur hours before a gas leak ignited the explosion.

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Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the explosion, which included a 10-year-old boy, CNN reported.

The blast damaged a total of 209 homes and 11 businesses, as well as a National Guard post next to the refinery, Vice President Elias Jaua told the AP.

He said 18 of the victims were National Guard soldiers.