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Tragedy at Russia's Largest Hydro Power Plant Took Over 69 Lives

24.08.2009
 
Tragedy at Russia's Largest Hydro Power Plant Took Over 69 Lives

The number of people killed in the accident at Russia’s largest hydroelectric power plant increased from 67 to 69. Six persons are still missing, an official with the Russian EMERCOM said Sunday.

Specialists and rescuers – over 2,000 people – are currently involved in the works to liquidate the consequences of the disaster at Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant. Employees of the plant take part in the works to recover the missing people from the huge engine room of the plant.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a special decree Saturday to assign one million rubles (approximately $32,000) to each family of those killed in the accident. In the meantime, the relatives of the killed workers seek much larger compensations from RusHydro – the company which operates the Sayano-Shushenskaya Plant. They want the company to pay five million rubles to each family. In addition, they want the authorities to guarantee free higher education to the children, whose parents were killed in the disaster. Many of the relatives said that they would be ready to take a legal action against RusHydro.

“We are not going to evade responsibility. RusHydro is a state-run company. We are not going to run away from you,” Vasily Zubakin, the chairman of RusHydro’s administration told the people.

The Republic of Khakasia, where the power plant is located, is currently bidding farewell to 22 people, whose bodies have been found after the disaster. The ceremony is taking place in the town of Cheryomushki, which has a 10,000-strong population. The majority of the people living in the town work at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Plant. The tragedy affected practically every resident of the town: someone lost their relatives, others lost friends and colleagues.

The works to recreate and repair separate engines at the plant have already begun. The recreation of the destroyed part of the engine room of the plant will cost 40 billion rubles.

The authorities of the town of Cheryomushki banned the sale of strong alcohol beverages in the town in connection with the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Plant.

“It was decided so to make people stop drinking. Yes, there was a tragedy, funerals are being held, but the uncontrollable consumption of alcohol will cause a greater damage,” an official with the local administration said.

RusHydro hopes to completely repair the power plant in three years.

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