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At least three dead after explosion at Italy hydroelectric plant

In News, World
April 10, 2024

Four people missing and three wounded taken to hospital after blast at power plant in the town of Bargi, near Bologna.

At least three people have died and four others are missing after a fire and explosion underground at a hydroelectric power plant in northern Italy, local authorities have said.

The fire brigade said that an explosion had occurred at about 3pm (13:00 GMT) on Tuesday at a dam on Lake Suviana, one of three artificial lakes that feed the power station in the town of Bargi, close to Bologna.

The explosion during maintenance work collapsed part of the nine-storey underground structure, provoked a fire and caused flooding at depths of up to 60 meters (200 feet), regional fire chief Francesco Notaro told SKY TG24.

Marco Masinara, the mayor of the nearby town of Camugnano, said three dead bodies had been found and four people were missing, while three people were “badly hurt” and were taken to hospital.

Power company Enel, which owns the plant, said it had evacuated workers from the site and was coordinating with rescue workers from the fire department.

Masinara said a fire broke out below ground level, adding that “the plant is all below the level of the lake, at about 30-metres [100-feet] depth.”

He told Italy’s Ansa news agency that initial information suggested that work was being done on a turbine at the time of the accident.

“I have been told that the fire brigade are trying to get access but are having difficulties,” he added.

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