A short circuit at underground hydroelectric power station situated at Srisailam’s dam left bank in Telangana led to a fire early Friday, trapping at least 9 maintenance personnel of Telangana Genco. The fire was followed by an explosion in unit 4 of the power station. Reportedly, panel boards had caught fire due to the short circuit. According to intial reports, the fire broke out around 10.30pm.
The smoke from the massive blaze has engulfed all six units of the power station from zero level to the service bay, hampering rescue operations. Of the 19 persons reported to be present at the spot, 9 persons escaped to safety through a tunnel. Those trapped include 6 TS Genco employees and three private company employees.
Telangana minister 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 and four panels were damaged. He said that rescue personnel was unable to enter the tunnel due to thick smoke.
“Four panels got damaged due to the fire accident. Smoke spread to the unit immediately. Though the staff switched off the power, they could not go ahead with the rescue operationsdue to smoke. The injured were immediately rushed to the hospital,” Minister Jagadish Reddy said.