A gas explosion at Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery has killed at least 19 people, starting a fire and causing extensive damage, officials say.
At least 53 people were also injured in the blast at the Amuay plant in Falcon State in the north-west of the country, officials announced.
State Governor Stella Lugo said nearby houses had been damaged by the blast. The fire is said to be under control.
The refinery, one of the biggest in the world, produces 645,000 barrels a day.
Ms Lugo said there was no risk of further explosions.
Among the dead is a boy of 10. The army was sent in to help ferry the injured to hospital.
Analysts say refineries in Venezuela, South America’s biggest oil producer, have suffered from a long list of problems including power failures and accidents.
It was not immediately how the explosion might affect oil shipments from Venezuela.