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Death toll of Venezuelan refinery blast rises to 48

(Xinhua)

09:23, August 28, 2012

CARACAS, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The number of people killed in a blast over the weekend at Venezuela's Amuay oil refiner has climbed to 48, an official source said on Monday.

Stella Lugo, governor of northwestern Falcon state, where the blast occurred, told local Union Radio station that the number of fatalities rose from 41 to 48 over the past few hours.

Seven people badly burnt by the explosion are in stable condition and receiving treatment at a hospital in neighboring Zulia state, she said, dismissing earlier rumors that they died.

"We have been serious, transparent and honest in releasing the figures, we don't release figures we have not confirmed," Lugo said. State officials were monitoring the progress of the injured at clinics and hospitals, said Lugo, adding they would be transported to Zulia if needed.

A total of 33 families have been evacuated from their homes in the immediate vicinity of the refinery and relocated at Falcon's Punto Fijo Naval Base as a preventive measure, since fires continued to rage Monday.

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