Shadows over accident at Amuay refinery
The relatives of the victims report irregularities in the investigation
More than two months have passed since the tragedy and state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) has offered no explanation on the causes of the accident. The victims' relatives reckon that there are still many loose ends, and they are waiting for answers to their questions.
Engelberth Delgado lost five of his relatives in the accident, but the authorities only found one body. He believes that there were many contradictions in the rescue operations, since, according to his report, a few hours after the accident, when rescue works were still running, heavy machinery started to clear debris in the area. "We want to know who ordered to remove the debris," Delgado requested.
"A huge mistake was made: not completing rescue works inside the structures. We will not be able to know what happened inside each dwelling," a rescuer who took part in the rescue works asserted. From his point of view, that is the reason why five people remain missing.
The rescuer, who asked not to be identified, reported that the following morning after the accident (Sunday, August 26), relief groups cleared the area of the accident following orders of military officials. When rescue groups returned to the area on Monday, August 27, the place had been altered.
A firefighter, who also asked to remain anonymous, added that during the hours following the blast, disorganization and irregularities prevailed. "The first and second day (following the explosion) houses and stores were looted and there was lack of coordination," he remarked.
On the other hand, several injured are still waiting for the compensation they were promised, while other people who lost their houses are waiting for solutions.
Translated by Andreína Trujillo
At first she agreed that I use her real name, that she had no problems with that at all. After all, living with HIV had driven her to help others – as a workshop facilitator giving talks and conducting seminars, or as a volunteer for local AIDS Service Organizations like Acción Solidaria (Solidary Action) and Mujeres Unidas por la Salud (Women United for Health, or Musa), a support group network for HIV-positive women. But when we were well into the interview, the realization that she might lose her private health insurance coverage made her change her mind.