The fire mishap that took place at Srisailam Power station took lives of many. Rubbishing speculation that the fire mishap at the Left Bank Hydro Electric Station of Srisailam project was the result of overproduction, Chairman and MD of Transco and Genco D Prabhakar Rao on Sunday said power production at the 900 MW station had been reduced as there was sufficient power available in the State. In a statement here, Prabhakar Rao said the hydel power station was functioning perfectly for the past one month, producing 128 MW of hydel power every day.
“The incident was very unfortunate. We lost nine people including seven engineers. I reached the spot within hours and we tried to rescue them, but in vain,” he said, adding that the Electricity Department had to seek the help of NDRF and CISF after their initial efforts to bring out the people stuck inside failed.
“When the power supply to the hydel station was switched off by the load despatch centre in Hyderabad, it was enveloped in darkness and the smoke inside absorbed all the oxygen in the generating station. We tried our best to clear the smoke, but couldn’t. When power was switched off, the ventilation stopped and the emergency exit also could not be opened,” he explained.
He said the department would look into the reasons as to why the maintenance team failed to trip the unit when they discovered fire in the control panel. “We have constituted a technical committee to look into that aspect,” he said, adding that it was the power dispatch unit in Hyderabad that shut off the incoming power as it could not be tripped internally. The CMD said the department would thoroughly investigate the reasons behind the accident. He said that in the past too, 30 people lost their lives when a boiler exploded in the NTPC thermal unit in Tamil Nadu.