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03:44 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Russia

Safety failures blamed for Siberian power plant accident

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Russia's industrial safety watchdog said on Monday that the August accident at a Siberian hydroelectric power station was caused by failures in safety and working procedures.

POCHEP (Bryansk Region), September 14 (RIA Novosti) — Russia's industrial safety watchdog said on Monday that the August accident at a Siberian hydroelectric power station was caused by failures in safety and working procedures.

Seventy four people are known to have died in the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant in Siberia's Khakasia Republic on August 17, while one person is still listed as missing.

Rostekhbadzor's Nikolai Kutyin said the causes and those personally responsible for the accident would be officially named on Tuesday.

State-controlled RusHydro, which owns the station, has said it will replace all damaged generating units by 2014.

It has also said repairing the damage could take up to two years, and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko put the repair cost at over 40 billion rubles ($1.2 billion).

Russia's crumbling infrastructure, underfunded since the 1990s, has often been the cause of such deadly industrial accidents.

According to Russian media reports, a local journalist who criticized the dam disaster was attacked on Wednesday near his apartment building.

Mikhail Afanasyev, editor of the Khakasia-based Novy Focus online magazine, said he was attacked by at least two assailants, who kicked and beat him with sticks until he lost consciousness.