Siberian Dam Disaster Leaves At Least 64 People ‘Likely Dead’

August 18, 2009

(ChattahBox) — At least 12 people have been killed and up to sixty-four others are missing and feared dead after an explosion at Russia’s largest hydro-electric power plant.  The cause of blast at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant in Siberia is unknown but reports said investigators believed a transformer exploded during repairs. However, the plant’s owner said the flooding occurred due to a pressure surge in water pipes.  Russian authorities said the accident was not a result of a terrorist act.“Finding anyone alive in the flood zone is unlikely, but the search continues,” a spokesman for state-run hydro-electricity company RusHydro said. The accident shut the power plant down, and left several towns and major factories without electricity. The dam itself was not breached but the accident also created a large oil slick that is now floating down the Yenisei river, which flows north through Siberia to the Arctic.

The power station Opened in 1978, is located in the Siberian region of Khakassia, some 3,000 km (1,875 miles) east of Moscow and provides a quarter of RusHydro output and is a major supplier of power to at least two smelters owned by United Company RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminum producer.

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