9 Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited employees trapped as fire breaks out in Srisailam power station
Nine Telangana state power department employees trapped as fire breaks out in Srisailam power station.Updated: Aug 21, 2020, 10:06 IST
Nine employees of Telangana State Power Generation Corporation (TSGenco) are trapped inside the under-tunnel Srisailam Left Bank Power Station (SLBP) when fire broke out in the electric panel late on Thursday night, officials said.
The SLBP is on the Telangana side of the Srisailam reservoir on Krishna river, a joint irrigation project between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The power house was constructed in the huge tunnel under the Nallamala forests adjacent to the reservoir, which is presently brimming with heavy inflows into the river forcing the authorities to lift all the gates to discharge water.
Telangana power minister G Jagadeeshwar Reddy, who rushed to the spot along with top TSGenco officials, told reporters that the fire erupted possibly due to short circuit in the electric panels of the power house and it spread to other parts of the power house.
The TSGenco engineers tried tripping the unit, but did not succeed. They isolated the unit as another alternative. Fire extinguishers could not control the fire.
There were a total of 30 employees inside the powerhouse when the accident took place. While six employees were rescued and brought out of the tunnel, 15 others managed to come out through the emergency exit route of the project.
However, nine others were trapped inside as thick smoke engulfed inside the tunnel, making it difficult for the rescue teams to reach the place, the minister said.
Ambulances were stopped half a kilometre away. “The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were also summoned but they also made three unsuccessful attempts to enter the tunnel till now. Rescue teams from Singareni Collieries are also expected to join the operation,” Reddy said.
As the power supply was stopped, it was completely dark inside the tunnel, making it difficult for the trapped staff to come out. This is the first of its kind fire accident in an under-tunnel power unit.
The plant has two entrances and one exit. Smoke engulfed the entire stretch. By Friday morning, it started scattering outside. Officials are hopeful that the teams could enter the tunnel, if smoke comes out further.
The rescued electricity employees, including deputy executive engineer Pawan Kumar, plant junior assistant Ramakrishna, junior engineers Mathru, Krishna Reddy and Venkataiah and driver Palankaiah were shifted to TSGenco hospital at Eegala Penta closer to the power house. They are out of danger.
Deputy executive engineer Srinivas, assistant engineer Sundar and other junior engineers Fatima Begum, Sushma, Venkat Rao, Kiran and Rambabu and two other employees of a private engineering firm from Hyderabad, among those trapped inside.
“We are praying for their safety,” said power minister Jagadish Reddy.