Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sympathized with the Venezuelan government and nation over the death of dozens of people in an explosion in the country's main oil refinery. In a message to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad extended his sincere condolences over the losses of life due to the Saturday blast.
The Iranian chief executive expressed hope that Venezuela would continue along its path of progress and prosperity by rebuilding the refinery in the shortest possible time.Following the incident, the Venezuelan president declared three days of mourning and called for a thorough investigation into the cause of the tragic explosion at the Amuay plant, located on the Paraguana Peninsula in the northwestern Falcon State. According to Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua, who traveled to the area, 39 people, including a 10-year-old child and 18 National Guard troops, were killed and over 80 people were wounded in the explosion. The blast also inflicted damages on hundreds of homes and shops nearby. Venezuela is South America’s biggest oil producing nation and the Amuay refinery, one of the biggest in the world, produces 645,000 barrels of crude a day. YH/HMV/HJL