An accident at Russia's largest hydro-electric power station has killed
at least eight workers and authorities say a number of others are still
Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office says
Monday's accident took place at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power station,
located on the Yenisei River in southern Siberia.
the committee, the accident occurred when an
oil-immersed transformer exploded during equipment repairs at the
facility, which is Russia's largest hydro-electric power station. The
committee has opened a formal investigation into whether violations of
workplace safety rules played a role in the accident.
state-run company RusHydro, which owns the Sayano-Shushenskaya power
station, says the accident was most likely caused by a water surge
resulting from an unexpected change in pressure.
President Dmitri Medvedev has put Emergency Situations Minister Sergei
Shoigu in charge of the clean-up operation in response to the accident.
said in nationally-televised comments that the accident posed no threat
to the towns located downstream from the power plant and that there is
no danger the plant's dam will collapse.
Russian media quoted
a local emergency official as saying that an oil slick had spread five
kilometers downstream from the plant's dam. The official said, however,
that the oil slick presents, in his words, "no threat to the
RusHydro spokesman Yevgeny Druzyaka told VOA that
the exact cause of the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power
station will not be known until a full-scale investigation is carried
says the unit of the facility where the accident took place is in ruins
and that the main task at the moment is to rescue anyone who may remain
alive under the debris.