Fire breaks out at oil plant in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 6 : A small fire broke out at a petroleum coke plant in Duque de Caxias, a city in Rio de Janeiro state, but no one was injured, state-controlled oil company Petrobras said Sunday.

Production of petroleum coke, which is used as a fuel in power plants, has been interrupted since Saturday night, when the fire started, Petrobras said.

The blaze was confined to a specific set of equipment and no environmental damage was caused, the company said.

A special investigative committee has been formed to determine the cause of the fire, Petrobras said, adding that the appropriate government officials had been informed of the accident.

All safety procedures were followed and the systems at the plant functioned as designed, the energy company said.

This is the fourth accident at a Petrobras plant since November.

Labor unions have accused the company of threatening safety procedures and systems due to higher production, which surged from 85 percent of capacity to 98 percent of capacity as a result of growing demand for petroleum and petroleum derivatives.

--IANS (Posted on 06-01-2014)

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