9 Dead in Telangana Power Plant Fire; PM Says ‘Deeply Unfortunate’
A short circuit is said to have led to the fire late on Thursday, 20 August.
Nine people have died after a fire broke out at the Left Bank hydroelectric power plant in Telangana's Srisailam late on Thursday, 20 August.
"Nine persons trapped inside the Left Bank Power House in Srisailam, in Telangana side, have lost their lives in the fire accident," the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
PM, Amit Shah and Vice President Express Condolences
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter, calling the incident ‘deeply unfortunate.’
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he was “deeply anguished to learn about the loss of lives”.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also took to Twitter to say that he was "distressed by the loss of lives" in the incident. A short circuit is suspected to be the cause behind the fire.
‘Couldn’t Come Out Because of Smoke’
According to The News Minute, there were around 20 people inside at the time of the incident. While 10 managed to escape from the site, at least nine were left stuck inside the plant. Out of the 10 people rescued, six were reportedly under treatment at a local hospital.
The rescue operations were being handled by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with CISF and assistance from teams of Singareni Collieries Limited.
As per local media reports, cited by TNM, the fire erupted in the first unit of the power station, with visuals showing a series of explosions followed by heavy flames and smoke emanating from the station.
"The project unit operates at multiple levels. Those in the control room are said to have managed to come out. Others at lower levels couldn't come out because of the smoke. The current being switched off also hampered rescue and escape efforts," an official was quoted by NDTV as saying.
Among the nine initially reported missing, two were deputy engineers, five assistant engineers and two others from a private company in Hyderabad.
Speaking to the media, the State Minister for Energy Jagadish Reddy reportedly said that dense smoke had hindered rescue operations by the police and the fire staff.
Among others who were present at the site to oversee the operations were State Minister for Agriculture Niranjan Reddy, MLA Guvvala Balaraju, Genco Chief Managing Director Prabhakar Rao, as well as the district collector and the superintendent of police.
(With inputs from The News Minute, NDTV, PTI and ANI.)
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