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    Funeral held for victims of Siberian hydropower disaster

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    A funeral service was held on Sunday morning for 22 of those killed in last Monday's accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant in Siberia

    CHERYOMUSHKI VILLAGE, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - A funeral service was held on Sunday morning for 22 of those killed in last Monday's accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant in Siberia.

    A total of 69 bodies have so far been found at the plant, and another six people have yet to be found. The disaster occurred during repair work to one of the plant's 10 hydroelectric generators - a surge of water shattered three of the turbines and flooded much of the plant.

    The funeral on Sunday was held in the village of Cheryomushki in the Khakasia Republic, where most of the hydropower plant workers live. With only 10,000 people in the village, almost all residents have lost a family member or close friend.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the dam on the Yenisei River on Friday to inspect the damage and cleanup operation, announcing compensation to the families of the victims and demanding the Energy Ministry and plant owner RusHydro draw up a reconstruction plan within six weeks.

    He said RusHydro, which is around 60% owned by the government, would pay 1 million rubles ($31,450) to the families of those missing and killed. Relatives earlier said the sum was far two low, and demanding it be increased tenfold

    Some relatives have complained about the lack of information being released on the accident, and on Saturday local residents demanded to be included in a state commission to investigate the disaster.

    Locals believe the accident was caused by the plant management seeking to maximize profits without paying sufficient attention to the condition of the ageing equipment, a charge dismissed by power plant representatives. The plant was built in 1978.

     

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