CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's oil minister says sabotage caused an explosion and fire that killed more than 40 people last year at the South American country's largest petroleum refinery.
Rafael Ramirez says the results of a government investigation showed that saboteurs deliberately caused a gas leak at the massive Amuay Refinery that prompted the Aug. 25 explosion.
Ramirez says bolts on a pump were intentionally loosened, though he did not identify the alleged saboteurs during a news conference on Monday. He said he does not believe employees from the state-run oil company that operates the refinery were responsible.
He said the blast caused $1.1 billion in damages.
Forty-two people died as a result of the explosion, according to authorities. Five others were reported missing.
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