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14 dead, 60 feared dead in Siberia plant explosion

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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