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    Repair work underway at disaster-hit Siberian hydro plant

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    The owner of Russia's largest hydropower plant, hit by a disaster that killed dozens of people, announced on Sunday the start of repair work

    MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - The owner of Russia's largest hydropower plant, hit by a disaster that killed dozens of people, announced on Sunday the start of repair work.

    Rescuers have found 69 bodies since last Monday's accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant on the Yenisei River south Siberia, Russia's largest hydropower producer, and are searching for the remaining six missing workers.

    Vasily Zubakin, the CEO of RusHydro, told reporters in the village of Cheryomushki, where most of the plant workers live: "There is now a shift from rescue work to restoration work. Over the next week, control over the facility will be handed over from the emergencies ministry to the energy ministry."

    Rescuers have been working continually for the past six days to pump water out of the vast turbine hall at the plant, which flooded during repair work to a generator.

    Zubakin said repairs have already begun at parts of the station where rescuers have finished searching the rubble for bodies.

    An emergencies official said earlier that the remaining workers are believed to be trapped in the seventh and eighth power units.

    Zubakin said that by early October a temporary roof will be built over the damaged parts of the power station, so that specialists can work through the winter, but that repair work will take three years.

    RusHydro has come under pressure from relatives of the victims for failure to replace ageing equipment at the plant, built in 1978, and putting profits ahead of safety.

    A funeral service was held on Sunday morning in Cheryomushki for 22 of those killed.

     

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