Fire at El Palito refinery under control
Rafael Lacava, mayor of Puerto Cabello, in north central Carabobo state, said that late on Wednesday the coastal area of Carabobo state was hit by a thunderstorm, which caused a fire in two tanks at El Palito refinery. He added that Pdvsa has total control of the fire in the second tank, which was still burning. "We were very close to the tank where the firefighters are trying to put out the fire and there is no risk. The plants within the refinery are fully operational," he stressed
Rafael Lacava, the mayor of Puerto Cabello, Carabobo state, north central Venezuela, on Thursday reported that firefighters have complete control over a fire on the seals of two naphtha storage tanks at El Palito refinery in Carabobo state.
During a telephone interview with state-run television channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), Lacava explained that the coastal area of Carabobo state was hit by a thunderstorm "never seen before in 30 years. Unfortunately one lightning hit tanks near the naphtha yard. This ignited a fire in one of the tanks and a minor fire in another tank."
Just after 8:30 pm, Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramírez reported the event. "After a severe thunderstorm, a lightning caused a fire on the seals of two naphtha tanks. This happened at 7:30 in the evening," he said during a telephone interview with VTV.
Further, Lacava stressed that the response of Pdvsa and Puerto Cabello firefighters, plus other volunteers, was timely, reported state-run news agency AVN.
"There was nothing to regret. Puerto Cabello municipality is calm again, after a series of false rumors. There is no reason for anxiety," said Lacava.
He underlined that Pdvsa has total control of the fire in the second tank, which was still burning. "We were very close to the tank where the firefighters are trying to put out the fire and there is no risk. The plants within the refinery are fully operational," he stressed.
Traffic on the Valencia-Puerto Cabello highway is temporarily blocked, in order to clear the vicinity of El Palito refinery and speed up the operations to extinguish the fire.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."