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    Accident at Russia's largest power plant kills at least 7

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    At least seven people were killed and 11 injured when an accident occurred at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric station, Russia's largest, in south Siberia early on Monday, a local emergencies spokesman said.

    MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - At least seven people were killed and 11 injured when an accident occurred at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric station, Russia's largest, in south Siberia early on Monday, a local emergencies spokesman said.

    The emergency call was received at 04:42 a.m. Moscow time (00:42 GMT) when the hydroelectric station's third and fourth water conduits broke, flooding the engine room. Production at the station, which was opened in 1978, was brought to a halt by the flood.

    "The death toll has risen to seven people, with at least 11 injured," Dmitry Kudryavtsev, a spokesman for the Siberian emergencies department, said.

    Earlier reports said at least six people were killed and seven injured in the accident.

    Rescuers fear the death toll could rise as people may still be trapped in the flooded rooms.

    The accident may have been caused by a hydraulic surge, or a sharp increase in pressure, according to Kudryavtsev.

    The damage could amount to hundreds of millions of rubles, an official spokesman for Russia's largest power generator, RusHydro, said, adding that repair work had started.

    "The accident caused several hundred million rubles in damage, with production likely to resume in a few weeks after the repair work has been completed," Yevgeny Druzyaka said.

    A spokesman for the UES operator which controls all of the country's power generating facilities said some local companies could be affected by the shutdown.

    Viktor Zimin, governor of the republic of Khakassia, where the power plant is located, is expected to visit the station later in the day.

     

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