News24

Plant accident: 68 missing

2009-08-17 14:21

Moscow - Sixty-eight people were missing on Monday after an accident at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant that killed seven people, an emergency ministry official told Russian radio.

"The fate of 68 people is unknown," Andrei Klyuyev, an official at the emergency situations ministry in the Siberian region of Khakassia, where the accident occurred, said on the Echo of Moscow radio station.

Klyuyev said rescue divers had pulled out one person from a room underneath the plant's main turbine hall where there was apparently a cave-in and flooding but said many more could still be trapped.

"At the moment we cannot determine whether these people were down there or managed to get out somewhere but we know that there were that many people on this shift," Klyuyev said.

An emergency situations ministry official reported earlier that seven people died and 11 were injured in the accident that cut power to homes and large businesses including Russia's largest aluminium producer, UC Rusal.

The accident occurred at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant on the Yenisei River in eastern Siberia after water pipes ruptured, flooding the turbine room, said the spokesperson, Dmitry Kydryavtsev.