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At least 9 trapped in Telangana power station fire mishap, rescue underway

The incident is reported to have taken place late on Thursday. Initial reports indicate that a short circuit led to the fire and thick smoke engulfing the spot

Fire

Firefighters were rushed to the spot and trying to rescue the trapped including a deputy engineer and assistant engineers. Representative Image

Agencies Hyderabad
Efforts are on to rescue nine persons trapped in a fire mishap at TS Genco's hydroelectric power station at Srisailam left bank canal in Nagarkurnool district of Telangana.
The incident is reported to have taken place late on Thursday. Initial reports indicate that a short circuit led to the fire and thick smoke engulfing the spot.
Of the 30 persons reported to be present at the spot during the accident, 21 escaped through a tunnel of which six of them are treated at a nearby hospital. The six injured persons include Deputy Engineer Pawan Kumar, Plant Junior Assistant Ramakrishna, Driver Palankaiah, Krishna Reddy, Venkataiah, and Matra. Those trapped include six TS Genco employees and three private company employees.

At first, the fire took place in the panel board. The sound of the blast in the panel board created a panic situation among those present at the site. Soon, the smoke had spread in six units. Engineering and Operations and maintenance staff rushed out after seeing the smoke emitting at an alarming level.
Firefighters were rushed to the spot and trying to rescue the trapped including a deputy engineer and assistant engineers. Officials said thick smoke is hampering rescue operations.
Telangana Minister for Power, Jagadish Reddy and TS Genco CMD Prabhakar Rao reached the spot and are overseeing rescue efforts.
Reddy said that the mishap occurred in the first unit of the power station around 10:30 pm in which four panels were damaged and power supply of the plant was cut off to limit the damage. He said that rescue personnel were unable to enter the tunnel due to thick smoke. 
The minister added that help has been sought from the Singareni collieries to support the rescue operations as they might have more expertise in the situation. He also said that top prirority now for them is to rescue the trapped workers. "The firefighters tried to go inside for three times. But the situation was like that they were about to lose consciousness. Luckily, the drivers of the vehicles who took them inside had oxygen masks. So they drove the vehicles outside safely. We are trying to get the help of the Singareni Coal Mines, as they might have expertise in such situations. In fact, such a situation has never arisen in the history of hydroelectric projects, not only here, but anywhere in India. Our first priority is to rescue the trapped ones," he added.
Power generation operations at the power station have been suspended following the incident.
The Srisailam dam is located across the Krishna river which serves as the border between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. 

More details of the fire accident are awaited.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was scheduled to visit Srisailam on Friday, cancelled his visit in view of the fire. He expressed shock over the incident and hoped that the trapped people are rescued. Jagan Mohan Reddy assured all support from Andhra Pradesh in the rescue operations.

(With Inputs from ANI and IANS)

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First Published: Aug 21 2020 | 7:25 AM IST

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