A spill of oil diluent that originated in the Chimire 4 pumping station, at the junction of the polyduct 52 of the Patio Tanque Oficina, and that spread until it reached the Troncal 16 highway, was the cause of the fire in a vehicle where three people were injured.
Police sources reported that they are investigating the possible manipulation of the pipeline by “scrap dealers” who tried to steal valves, which caused the spill in the Bajo Hondo sector of the Freites municipality.
On the night of July 30, the three victims, the owner of the Halcones de Anaco basketball team and two of his players, were traveling from El Tigre to their city of origin, aboard a white Orinoco sedan-type vehicle when the fire started.
The injured were identified as Esaúl Castro (36 years old), Leuman Zapata (26) and Alejandro Espinoza (19), who have second and third degree burns. All were treated at the Luis Alberto Rojas de Cantaura hospital.
The national highway remains closed because at the site of the spill, Pdvsa San Tomé firefighters carry out hydrocarbon containment work.
With preventive security and road control support, officials from the National Police and the GNB were deployed in the La Madama sector to divert traffic through the affected area.