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The fires at Venezuela's Amuay refinery, where more than 40 people died in an explosion over the weekend, have been completely extinguished, Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez said Tuesday.
"We can say that the fire is finally extinguished and so the fires we had, which were three, are totally extinguished," Ramirez told VTV.
Firefighters fought all night to put out the fires, which posed "the biggest problem" at the refinery, Ramirez said.
The Amuay refinery, one of the three in the Paraguana Refinery Complex, or CRP, was rocked by an explosion early Saturday that started a fire and damaged about 500 nearby buildings.
The fire was initially confined to two fuel tanks, but the flames later spread to a third tank.
Firefighters extinguished the flames at one of the tanks that initially caught fire on Monday night and continued working into the morning.
"Now come the tasks of evaluating and securing everything in the area to declare the emergency situation over that had occurred at our Paraguana Refinery Complex," Ramirez said.
The work of cooling the tanks will continue for the time that experts determine is needed, the minister said.
"The teams continue in permanent activity, they continue putting foam on the tanks because it's hydrocarbons that reached very high temperatures," Ramirez said.
"We are waking up to this splendid day with the promise and the word kept, we came through," Ramirez said.
More than 200 firefighters worked to put out the blazes, Ramirez said.
At least 41 people were killed, six people were reported missing and more than 80 others were injured in the blast, with 31 people still hospitalized in Punto Fijo, where the refinery is located, and Maracaibo, officials said. EFE