Hyderabad: A fire broke out at the Srisailam hydel power plant in Nagarkurnool on the night of 20 August, leaving nine people dead. By the time the chief engineer (hydel) of the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited, B. Suresh, reached the plant, it was already too late.

“The fire was out of control. It has become an intense inferno,” he recounted. He reached the Srisailam plant at 10.30 pm on Friday after receiving an emergency call. He was at the plant for half-an-hour and came out with some other staff members after half-an-hour. However, deputy engineer Srinivas Goud stayed on.

“People had a chance to escape but they were trying to save the equipment and the plant. Once we came out, Srinivas ran to the control room. They tried, till the last minute, to save the plant,” Mr. Suresh said. However, he lost his best staffers in the fire.

“I am unable to say anything. I saw them before I left the plant. Their bodies were brought out from the same entrance through which I had left. These people stayed behind to save our work. It would have taken them an hour to come out but they chose to stay there,” an emotional Suresh said.

The body of Srinivas Goud was found in the escape hall. “The others were trying to come out but due to the carbon monoxide, they were unable to see and pass through the escape hall. They collapsed there and later the fire engulfed them,” he said.

The officials will assess the damage on Saturday. “Only after inspection will we be able to tell how much damage the fire had wreaked and what equipment have to be replaced. Electricity generation in the state will not be much affected as it’s the rainy season and the demand is low. The plant has survived because these people gave their lives to protect it,” he added.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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