14 dead, 60 feared dead in Siberia plant explosion
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 22:04
Moscow: Rescue workers found two bodies on Wednesday in the destroyed engine room of Russia's largest hydroelectric plant, raising the accident's official death toll to 14, officials said.

Sixty other workers are missing and feared dead at the massive Sayano-Shushenskaya power station in southern Siberia after an explosion during repairs Monday blew out walls and caused the turbine room to flood. Three of the plant's 10 turbines were destroyed and three others were damaged, plant owner RusHydro said.

The giant power station has been idle since. Oleg Deripaska, the head of Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer, visited the damaged power plant today to discuss with Russia's energy ministry and RusHydro how his factories will get power in the meantime.

More than 70 percent of all energy from the crippled hydroelectric plant goes to four Rusal smelters in Siberia, which are believed to be the company's most efficient plants.

Divers continued to scour the near-freezing waters that flooded the power plant for the missing workers but officials say there is little chance of finding anyone alive. About 1,000 rescue workers were involved in the search, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko described the accident as "the biggest and most mysterious in global hydroenergy".

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 22:04

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