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Italian explosion: Search after deadly blast at power plant

Video caption,

Watch: Footage from Vigili Del Fuoco shows aerial views of the power plant with smoke rising

Four people are dead and several are missing following an explosion at a hydroelectric plant in northern Italy.

The explosion occurred underwater at the plant on Lake Suviana, 70 km from the city of Bologna.

The affected area is located 30 m (100 ft) below the surface of the lake.

The mayor of the neighboring town of Camugnano told the Ansa news agency that a fire may have broken out during maintenance work.

Marco Masinara said rescuers had difficulty gaining access and the accident had been “serious”.

Three of the four people who died in the disaster were aged between 35 and 73.

Bologna prefect Attilio Visconti said a fire broke out when a turbine exploded on the eighth floor below the surface, causing the lower floor to flood.

One of the divers involved in the search and rescue operation told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that he managed to reach the seventh floor below the surface, but was unable to reach the three people trapped lower.

Several people are believed to have suffered serious burns following the explosion, which took place around 3:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT). They were transported by helicopter to nearby hospitals.

Two men were taken to an intensive care unit, according to Italian media.

Bologna Mayor Matteo Lepore, who visited the site on Tuesday evening, said the conditions in which the search teams found themselves tens of meters underground were “really complicated”. He said it was one of the worst professional tragedies in recent Italian history.

The city’s attorney general, Giuseppe Amato, told Italian media that an investigation would be opened once the factory was safe and the missing people were found.

“We won’t stop until we find them,” Luca Cari said on behalf of the firefighters.

The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, but what happened is likely to fuel concerns expressed by unions about workplace safety in Italy.

Two of the country’s largest unions were already scheduled to stage a four-hour national strike on Thursday to protest the issue.

Regional fire chief Francesco Notaro said firefighters and police were “all trying to secure the facilities.”

Lake Suviana is an artificial lake located in the Apennines, near Bologna. The lake was formed following the construction of a dam in 1932.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wrote on X, formerly Twitter, to thank the rescue services and said she was following news of the explosion “with anxiety.”

The power plant is owned by Italian energy giant Enel Green Power.

The company said there was no indication the dam suffered damage, but the power plant had stopped production.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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