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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

4 trapped inside Assam hydel electric plant after pipeline burst: Officials

A large portion of the Kopili Hydro Electric Plant was also inundated due to a rupture in the pipeline that carries 12,000 litres of water per second.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2019 23:30 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Two people were feared trapped inside a pump house, after a pipeline carrying water to the 275 MW hydel project in Dima Hasao district of Assam burst.
Two people were feared trapped inside a pump house, after a pipeline carrying water to the 275 MW hydel project in Dima Hasao district of Assam burst. (neepco.co.in)
         

At least four persons were feared trapped inside a pump house after a pipeline carrying water to the 275 MW hydel project in Dima Hasao district of Assam burst on Monday morning, said a senior official of the state run North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO).

A large portion of the Kopili Hydro Electric Plant was also inundated due to a rupture in the pipeline that carries 12,000 litres of water per second, officials said.

Deputy Commissioner, Dima Hasao, Amitabh Rajkhowa who visited the spot said, “I was told that four NEEPCO personnel were present in the powerhouse next to the dam which got flooded after the puncture in the pipeline. They are feared to be trapped.” He said due to the water pressure the rescue teams could not get to the site.

After the incident, NEEPCO sent a letter to officials of seven districts downstream in Meghlaya and Assam Monday informing them about the damage to penstock (pipeline) of the Umrong reservoir (one of the two of the project) and said that as a safety measure to control the flow of water all gates of the reservoir are being opened.

“There has been a puncture in the water conductor system today which has resulted in flooding,” said HK Deka, the Executive Director, NEEPCO. “I am on my way to the site of the accident. I heard that most of the personnel are safe except two to three employees at the powerhouse. Exact situation is yet to be ascertained,” he said.

According to R Phukan, the district project officer of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the accident happened at 6.30 am on Monday.

“The flow of water is such that it has made it impossible for us to the powerhouse which is flooded. The water also washed away a temporary bridge at the project,” Phukan said, adding that eight personnel from the State Disaster Response Force and some personnel of the state’s Fire and Emergency Services are at the site.

These personnel rescued a few people who were stuck at different locations of the project area but they were rescued during the day, he said.

After the incident, NEEPCO opened all the gates of the reservoir to release excess water and reduce the pressure.

Due to poor mobile phone connectivity in the hilly terrain, the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police of the district could not be contacted for more details.

(With PTI inputs)