Hyderabad: The chairman and managing director of Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TSGenco), D. Prabhakar Rao, has expressed his grief over the loss of nine lives in the Srisailam fire accident that occurred on the night of 20 August.

The Srisailam power plant was engulfed in flames due to a short circuit that occurred in unit 4 of the plant. While 15 members managed to escape, nine died of asphyxiation.

Terming the deaths as tragic, Mr. Rao said that they tried their best to rescue those who were stuck inside the plant. “Within hours of the incident, I reached the site with G. Jagadish Reddy, the minister of energy, and carried out rescue operations throughout the night. Our department was not able to solve the crisis alone, and so we called members from the National Disaster Response Force and Central Industrial Security Force,” he said.

He further added that the assumed short-circuit caused a failure in power and the unit was filled with smoke. Further, the ventilation stopped, and the emergency room could not open. “We are working to find out what actually caused the fire,” he added.

Speaking about the power plant, he said it had been generating 128 MW power every day in the past 30 days. He further added that there is no risk of water entering the plant due to the incident.

Expressing his condolences, he said that ex gratia sum for families of the deceased has been declared. “The Chief Minister has already instructed the CID to do their job and submit a report. We have also set up an internal committee. They are not allowed to go inside yet,” he added.

Deputy engineer Srinivas Goud, assistant engineers Venkatak Rao, Mohan Kumar, and Uzma Fathima, Sundar, plant attendant Rambabu, and junior plant attendant Kiran were among those who died in the fire. Two officials of Amaran battery company, Vniesh Kumar and Mahesh Kumar, were also killed in the incident.

The fire was followed by an explosion in the power station in Nagarkurnool district of Telangana. Firefighters launched a massive rescue operation headed by a 39-member rescue team of the CISF. Comdt. Siddarth Rana led the team that dispatched from CISF’s National Industrial Security Academy at Hakimpet upon the request of director-general, CISF. They arrived at the venue at 1 p.m and have since been working to retract bodies from the site of the accident.

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