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23:58 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Venezuela Refinery Blast 'Kills 19'

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Nineteen people were killed in an explosion at Venezuela's biggest oil refinery on Saturday.

Nineteen people were killed in an explosion at Venezuela's biggest oil refinery on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, citing local officials.

Some 53 more were injured in the explosion, which rocked the Amuay refinery in the early hours of Saturday morning, damaging the facility and nearby buildings.

Among the dead is a 10-year-old boy, said Stella Lugo, the governor of Falcon region where the refinery is located.

Previous reports said seven were killed and 48 injured.

Officials said the blast originated in a gas leak.

"It was a significant explosion, there is appreciable damage to infrastructure and houses opposite the refinery," Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez was quoted as saying.

The refinery, on the Paraguana Peninsula in western Venezuela, processes some 645,000 barrels of crude per day.

Emergency workers are at the scene, and officials said the situation was under control.