Russian authorities have reassured people living near a disaster-hit power station that a massive dam at the facility won’t collapse.
At least 11 people were killed and up to 72 others are missing after a turbine room flooded at the Sayano-Shushenskaya plant in Siberia. Efforts to find survivors are ongoing, with a major emergency operation underway at what is Russia’s largest hydro-electric power station. Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said that towns and villages downstream are not threatened, with no danger of damage to the structure of the dam. There is confusion over exactly what went wrong. Some reports speak of a transformer exploding during repair work. Others say a surge in water pressure ruptured pipes. Whatever happened, the result was loss of life, as well as power disruption and dismay for those living nearby. One local woman said that nobody fled and people remained calm. Another shared that view, adding: “We are regularly updated on television.” But the environmental impact of the accident remains a concern. It produced a significant oil slick that is now floating down Siberia’s Yenisei River.