Fatal Explosion at Hydro Plant Leaves Little Hope for Survivors

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.10 - 2024 2:30 PM CET

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube
A incident at a hydroelectric power plant in Bargi casts a shadow over northern Italy, with rescuers facing grim prospects in the search for survivors following a deadly explosion.

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Rescue operations at a hydroelectric power plant in northern Italy have become increasingly grim, as firefighters express dwindling hopes for finding survivors.

The disaster struck on Tuesday at the plant in Bargi, near Lake Suviana, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bologna, resulting in at least three confirmed deaths and four people missing, according to Reuters' report.

The facility, owned by Enel Green Power, a subsidiary of the Enel Group (ENEI.MI), experienced a catastrophic fire and explosion while undergoing efficiency works.

Photo: YouTube

A Race Against Time and Water

As water levels rise swiftly within the underground facility, the search for the missing individuals grows more challenging by the hour.

"The rescuers' hope is always to find people alive. The scenario we see does not make us believe much in these hypotheses, but I repeat that we are also accustomed to miracles," stated fire brigade spokesperson, Luca Cari.

The rescue teams, primarily comprising divers, are confronting the task without definitive information on the cause or dynamics of the incident.

Undergoing Works and Testing

Enel Green Power had initiated efficiency enhancements at the plant in 2022, entrusting major companies Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE), ABB, and Voith with the task.

"From what has been reconstructed, the testing of the first generation group had already been completed in the past days and, at the time the accident occurred, the testing of the second group was underway," the company disclosed.

This revelation sheds light on the possible context of the accident, though detailed investigations are still pending.

Immediate Response

Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power, promptly arrived at the disaster site to oversee the response efforts.

The company has pledged full cooperation with authorities to determine the precise causes of the tragedy.

The Bargi power station, with a 300 megawatt (MW) capacity, represents a fraction of Enel Group's extensive 13,000 MW hydroelectric portfolio in Italy.

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