New Delhi: All nine persons trapped in the massive fire at the underground hydroelectric power station in Telangana’s Srisailam have succumbed to their injuries, officials said on Friday evening. Firefighters had earlier recovered bodies of six victims, including two assistant engineers and a divisional engineer. Also Read - Gujarat: Massive Fire at ONGC Plant Brought Under Control; No Casualty or Injury
Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao has announced Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia for Deputy Engineer Srinivas Goud’s family and Rs 25 lakhs each for families of others who died in Srisailam fire accident. Their family members will also get one job each. Also Read - Major Fire Breaks Out at Company Office in Noida Sec 59, Over 100 Staffers Evacuated
Efforts were on all morning as rescue workers tried to trace the persons trapped inside the hydel plant situated at the Srisailam dam in Nagarkurnool district near Telangana-Andhra Pradesh border. Also Read - Telangana Police Officer Killed as AK 47 Goes Off Accidentally | Read Here
Teams of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with experts from the Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) joined the fire department in battling thick smoke to retrieve those trapped, but all efforts were futile.
According to reports, the fire is believed to have been caused by a short circuit at unit one of the underground powerhouse. One of the survivors said the sparks were first noticed on a panel. “This was followed by a series of explosions. There was utter chaos and we all ran out for safety,” he said.
At least 30 persons were present at the spot during the incident, of which 15 escaped to safety through a tunnel while six were rescued by rescue personnel and admitted to a nearby hospital.
Telangana Energy Minister Jagadish Reddy and TS Genco and Transco Chairman and Managing Director Prabhakar Rao rushed to the spot and were overseeing rescue efforts.
Reddy said that the accident occurred in the first unit of the power station and four panels were damaged. He said that rescue personnel were unable to enter the tunnel due to thick smoke.
All operations at the power station have been suspended following the incident.
Telangana CM KCR Rao’s office said that he is continuously monitoring the operations at the accident site. “CM K Chandrashekhar Rao has expressed shock over the incident. He is eliciting information on the incident. He spoke to Minister Jagdeeshwar Reddy and Transco, Genco CMD D Prabhakar Rao who are at the site and reviewed relief measures taking place there”, the Chief Minister’s office said.
On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who was scheduled to visit Srisailam to conduct Jala Harathi (puja), cancelled his visit following the incident.