Nine people died in a fire that broke out at the Srisailam hydroelectric plant in Telangana on Friday, and six bodies have been recovered by rescue teams so far, reports said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths, saying the incident was “deeply unfortunate”.
“Fire at the Srisailam hydroelectric plant is deeply unfortunate. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover at the earliest,” Modi said in a tweet.
17 people were inside the plant when the blaze occurred on Thursday night, of which eight managed to escape, PTI reported. However, publications reported various figures of how many employees were inside the plant when the fire broke out.
Hindustan Times reported that 30 people were in the plant when the fire broke out, of which “six employees were rescued and brought out of the tunnel, 15 others managed to come out through the emergency exit route of the project.”
Meanwhile, NDTV reported that 20 people were present, and “while 11 people managed to escape, nine others were trapped inside.”
According to ANI, the bodies of two of the nine victims have been handed over to their family members. The local police identified them as assistant engineers Mohan Kumar (38) and Sundar Naik (38).
“Postmortem was conducted and the bodies handed over to their family members. The rescue operation is going on for the remaining seven members. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) team is working on the rescue of seven more persons,” Sharman told ANI over the phone.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, expressing grief over the incident, ordered an enquiry by the CID into the cause of the fire and asked for a report “at the earliest”, Hindustan Times reported.
Additionally, Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has extended “all possible help” to Telangana for rescue operations, NDTV reported, adding that Reddy “has also cancelled his visit to Srisailam which was scheduled for today in the wake of the accident.”
Reports said that Telangana energy minister G Jagadish Reddy is overseeing rescue operations at the spot.
Rescue operations began on Friday morning to save employees stuck inside the multi-floor power house.
Fire broke out at Left Bank Power House in Srisailam, in Telangana side, late last night. Fire engine from Atmakur Fire Station, Kurnool deployed. Ten people rescued, of which 6 are under treatment at a hospital in Srisailam. Nine people still feared trapped. More details awaited https://t.co/Y3uoIioR4b pic.twitter.com/p9WNoytpsF
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2020
The right canal of the plant meets the irrigation requirements of Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana energy minister G Jagadish Reddy said that the mishap occurred in the first unit of the power station and four panels were damaged.
He added a thick smoke that had engulfed the unit prevented fire fighting operation. A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) too joined the rescue operations.
The Srisailam dam is located across the Krishna river which serves as the border between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.