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Death toll in Italy's power plant explosion rises to 5

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-12 01:18

Personnel wearing protective white suits enter the Enel hydroelectric power plant, after a fatal explosion and fire, in Bargi, Italy on April 10. [Photo/Agencies]

ROME -- Two more victims of the explosion at an Italian power station were discovered on Thursday, bringing the official death toll to five people, authorities said.

The incident occurred at around 3 pm local time at a hydroelectric power station on Lake Suviana in the Apennine Mountains, some 70 km south of Bologna. All those involved were employees of the plant when the explosion took place.

In the immediate aftermath, three victims, five seriously injured people, and four other people missing were confirmed. Search and rescue efforts have been ongoing since the early evening of Tuesday.

The Fire Department confirmed they could identify the fourth and fifth victims found on Thursday. "The fourth victim was retrieved from under the rubbles at the ninth floor, one of those that had been flooded the first day," firefighter regional chief Francesco Notaro told Ansa news agency.

At a press conference, ENEL Green Power chief executive officer Salvatore Bernabei said it was still too early to know what caused the explosion at the power station belonging to the company.

Meanwhile, an eight-hour general strike was called on Thursday in the Emilia Romagna region. Approximately 1,500 people, including eight local mayors and the regional governor, staged a rally in Bologna. This added to a national strike among workers in public transport on the same day.

According to provisional data by the National Institute for Insurance against Workplace Accidents (INAIL), workplace fatalities were 1,041 in 2023 and 1,090 in 2022. The number of workers who died at the workplace grew to 799 from 790.

Unions are calling for better safety conditions at the workplace. Italy has seen a series of incidents at workplaces in recent years, many of which were reported deadly, involving young apprentices.

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