Fire kills 9 workers at hydroelectric plant in south India

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — A massive fire at a government-run hydroelectric plant killed nine workers in southern India, an official said Friday.

Telangana state Power Minister Jagdish Reddy said rescuers have recovered the bodies of all nine workers who were trapped when the fire erupted Thursday night.

He said 30 workers were inside the plant in Srisailam. Fifteen left through a tunnel and six others were taken out by rescue teams.

The cause of the fire hasn’t been established, Reddy said.

Rescuers from the National Disaster Relief Force joined the search operation at the plant, located at a dam about 220 kilometers (140 miles) south of Hyderabad, the state capital.

News 18 TV channel said the fire caused an explosion in one of the six generating units at the hydroelectric plant. Smoke from the blaze engulfed all six units, hampering rescue operations.

Fire engines took several hours to extinguish the fire, it said.

Prabhakar Rao, chairman of the Telangana State Power Generation Corp., said the fire was limited to one of the six units and the damage is being assessed.

In July, five workers were killed and 16 injured when a boiler exploded at a government-run electricity plant at Neyveli in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

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