HomeWorldItaly hydroelectric plant explosion kills at least three workers

Italy hydroelectric plant explosion kills at least three workers


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An explosion at a hydroelectric plant in northern Italy has killed at least three workers and injured five others, a regional fire chief said. At least four other people are missing.

The blast on Tuesday was at power company Enel’s decades-old Bergi plant, south of Bologna, and happened during maintenance work, according to authorities. Regional fire chief Francesco Notaro told local media that part of the nine-story underground structure collapsed, started a fire, causing flooding at depths of up to 60 meters (200 feet).

Video provided by firefighters showed smoke rising from the underground at the lakeside plant.

An image taken from a handout video by the Vigili del Fuoco, the Italian Corps shows an aerial view after the explosion. Photograph: Vigili del Fuoco/AFP/Getty Images

“This is a historic power plant for us,” Marco Masinara, the mayor of the nearby town of Camugnano, told local media.

“It has been managed by Enel for 50 years, providing jobs for many families. Until today, nothing ever happened. Today, a drama occurred. Our world collapsed.”

He said three of the hospitalised were in serious condition, while the other two suffered lesser injuries.

Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni said she was following the “terrible” news and expressed solidarity with the victims and their families.

Map showing Bologna, Suviana Lake and Italy
Map shows Suviana lake southwest of Bologna in Italy, where the hydroelectric plant is located

Divers were helping with the search, which was expected to go through the night, but efforts are proceeding with care because of the risk of further collapse.

The plant is at the artificial Suviana Lake which was formed by the construction of a dam and located in a regional park about 70 km southwest of Bologna.

Enel Green Power said in a statement that there was no damage to the dam.

CEO Salvatore Bernabei has travelled to the site and the company expressed condolences to the victims and their families.

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