26 dead, 49 still missing in Russian dam disaster
The death toll from a catastrophic flood that engulfed Russia's biggest hydroelectric power station rose to 26 on Friday after rescue workers recovered nine more bodies, officials said.world Updated: Aug 21, 2009 12:11 IST
The death toll from a catastrophic flood that engulfed Russia's biggest hydroelectric power station rose to 26 on Friday after rescue workers recovered nine more bodies, officials said.
Forty-nine people are still missing, and officials fear most of them may be dead as hopes fade for finding any survivors of Monday's disaster at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant.
"We've found seven bodies today," said Dmitry Kudryavtsev, a spokesman for the emergency situations ministry in the Khakassia region where the power station is located.
"The night searches have yielded two bodies," added Irina Butenko, another spokeswoman for the ministry.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was expected to go to the power plant later Friday to see the rescue operations first-hand, his spokesman said.
On Thursday, Putin called for checks on all Russia's major infrastructure, saying "technological discipline is very low" across the country.
The catastrophe is believed to have been triggered when a technical problem caused a massive surge of water in the turbine hall, engulfing around 100 workers.