bAt least four workers were killed in an explosion at a hydroelectric plant on a reservoir in northern Italy on Tuesday. In the evening, authorities feared that the death toll at the facility, located on the Suviana reservoir between the cities of Bologna and Florence, could rise: several hours after the accident around 3 p.m., three workers were still missing. At least five workers suffered burns.

According to preliminary data, a fire broke out in the facility at a depth of about 30 meters on a turbine for an initially unknown reason during the work, which then led to an explosion. As a result of the explosion, water also reportedly entered the power plant. The dam itself – about two kilometers away – was not damaged. The fire brigade had great difficulty in reaching the accident site due to heavy smoke.

“Landscape flooded with water”

Marco Masinara, mayor of the nearby municipality of Camougnano, announced work on the turbines inside the building. The accident happened well below the minus nine water level. The electricity supplier Enel, which owns the power plant, confirmed the accident without elaborating.

The fire department was on call with more than 40 helpers and also several helicopters. Calogero Turturici, provincial chief of Bologna's fire department, told E-TV: “There is a lot of smoke. We are having difficulty getting into the premises.” The area is also flooded. When asked about the cause, Turturici replied: “If you don't get to the accident site, it's hard to make one or the other hypothesis.”

The lake is located in the regional park in the Apennines at an altitude of nearly 500 meters. It was created during the construction of the dam between 1928 and 1932. The area is also very popular with hikers.

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