A fire broke out on Saturday at an oil refinery in Venezuela's northwestern state of Zulia, a major oil production base of the country, government sources said.
Gladys Parada, marketing general manager of the Venezuelan Petroleum Ministry, told reporters that a lightning bolt hit the refinery during a thunderstorm and started the fire, which was quickly brought under control by plant employees and firemen.
The fire affected the refinery's extraction plant in Bajo Grande, Parada was quoted as saying by the official news service Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN).
Parada added that the fire also caused explosion in a "secure area" of the plant, without mentioning any casualties.
This is the third fire that has hit refineries and plants under the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) in recent months.
In a major disaster on Aug. 25, a fire caused explosion of three huge gasoline tanks at the Amuay refinery in the northwestern Falcon state, killing 42 workers and injuring another 132.
A lightning strike on Sept. 19 set ablaze two gasoline tanks at a refinery in Puerto Cabello, but caused no casualties.