Russian Power Plant: Missing Presumed Dead, 3 Found Alive, Video
The deadly accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station in the Khakassia region of Russia saw a miraculous story of one man's luck today -- an employee of the plant was found alive. It turned out he was not at work, having gone fishing instead. Two workers were rescued live on Monday as was reported by Russian officials today, but despite continuing rescue efforts the hopes of finding more survivors are fading away.
The power plant exploded on Monday, leading to the flooding of the turbine room filled with plant workers. The cause of the accident still remains unknown, but a defective lid on one of the turbines is suspected. An amateur video capturing the incident has also emerged today.
For now, the number of people killed, injured and missing varies from one news source to another. It seems Russian officials themselves do not have the final count yet, and are extremely careful to confirm any numbers. According to varying reports, anywhere from 10 to 12 people are feared dead, over a dozen people are injured and anywhere from 32 to 72 people are still missing. The relatives of the missing workers are in fury over the veil of secrecy surrounding the rescue efforts.
The incident raised questions about Russia's crumbling Soviet-inherited infrastructure and the efforts to renew it, ensuring the safety of workers in transition.
Plans to roll out an ambitious infrastructure investment programme to upgrade battered ports, roads and powers plants have so far been delayed or scrapped as the economic crisis drains Russia's financial reserves.
Russia's top television channel reports that Daniar Safinov, the person in charge of the rescue operation at Sayano-Shushenskaya, sustained a heart attack and was flown into one of Moscow's hospitals. It is believed his heart attack was the result of severe exhaustion.
For previous NP coverage, see here.