Hyderabad: Efforts were on to rescue the nine people trapped in a fire at the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation’s (TS Genco) hydel power station at Srisailam in Nagarkurnool district on Friday.
The fire, which broke out late on Thursday, was brought under control by the firefighters, but thick smoke has been hampering rescue operations. The Srisailam Dam is located across the Krishna river which serves as the border between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
A short circuit is believed to have caused the blaze. Of the 30 persons reported to be present at the spot, 21 escaped to safety through a tunnel. Of those trapped six were TS Genco employees and three private company employees.
Telangana Energy Minister Jagadish Reddy and TS Genco and Transco Chairman and Managing Director Prabhakar Rao rushed to the spot and have been overseeing rescue efforts.
Reddy said that the accident occurred in the first unit of the power station and four panels were damaged. He said that rescue personnel were unable to enter the tunnel due to thick smoke.
Rescue personnel were being brought in from the Singareni collieries to support the rescue operations. Power generation operations at the power station have been suspended following the incident.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the accident. The chief minister spoke to Jagdish Reddy and Prabhakar Rao who were at the spot and reviewed the relief measures taking place there.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was scheduled to visit Srisailam on Friday, cancelled his visit in view of the fire accident. He too expressed shock over the fire incident and wished for the rescue of the trapped people. Jagan Mohan Reddy assured all support from Andhra Pradesh in the rescue operations.