At least three workers have died in an explosion at a hydroelectric power station on a reservoir in northern Italy. In the evening, the authorities feared that the number of deaths at the facility on the Suviana reservoir between the cities of Bologna and Florence could increase: more than eight hours after the accident, which occurred around 3 p.m., four employees were still missing. At least five workers suffered burn injuries, some of them serious.

According to initial findings, a fire broke out in the facility during work on a turbine at a depth of around 30 meters for an initially unknown reason, which then led to the explosion. As a result of the explosion, water also entered the power plant, it was said. The dam itself – about two kilometers away – was not affected. The fire department had great difficulty getting to the scene of the accident due to heavy smoke.

The mayor of the nearby municipality of Camougnano, Marco Masinara, reported work on the turbines inside the building. The accident occurred well below the water level at level minus nine. The electricity supplier Enel Green Power, which owns the power plant, confirmed the accident without providing further details. In the meantime, the responsible prefecture had spoken of four recovered fatalities.

Terrain flooded – several helicopters in use

The fire brigade was on duty with more than 40 helpers and also several helicopters. The provincial commander of the Bologna fire department, Calogero Turturici, told TV station E-TV: “There is a lot of smoke. We are having difficulty getting into the premises.” The area was also flooded with water. When asked about the cause, Turturici said: “If the scene of the accident is not accessible, it is difficult to put forward one hypothesis or another.”

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