Today in History: Power Plant Burns in Venezuela

fireOn this day in 1982 a power plant fire begins in Venezuela. By the time it ended, the fire killed 128 people and injured hundreds more. Half the capital city of Caracas lost electrical power and 40,000 people had to be evacuated.

The large Tacoa power plant on the outskirts of Caracas was going through the process of checking and maintaining its gauges on the night of December 18 when a fire broke out in Tank 8, which was filled with No.6 fuel oil. It could not be put out immediately because the water supply did not work. Instead, it raged on into the night and, early the next morning, caused a huge explosion.

In the aftermath, fuel tanks like those at the Tacoa plant were no longer placed where they could threaten civilian populations.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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