Italian Hydroelectric Plant Explodes and Kills Three

Standret /
Standret /

A decades-old hydroelectric power plant in northern Italy took out at least three workers, left five more injured, and another four were reported to be missing. Occurring at power conglomerate Enel’s Bergi plant south of Bologna, there was a massive explosion during maintenance work, and part of the nine-story underground structure collapsed. This sparked a fire and flooding as deep as 200 feet per regional fire chief Francesco Notaro to SKY TG24.

With divers taking to the water, they hope to aid the search, but the level of destruction and instability make many worry things will only get worse.

Marco Masinara, the mayor of the nearby town of Camugnano, told SKY, “This is a historic power plant for us. It has been managed by Enel for 50 years, providing jobs for many families. Until today, nothing ever happened. Today, a drama occurred. Our world collapsed.” He also reported that the three hospitalized had sustained serious injuries, and two others had been injured but didn’t require hospitalization.

The Suviana Lake was artificially created via a dam built between 1928 and 1932. Sitting at 1,640 feet of elevation and 40 miles southwest of Bologna, it was a piece of critical infrastructure. Enel Green Power announced that the dam had somehow sustained no damage from the explosion or the resulting floods. Surprisingly, CEO Salvatore Bernabei proceeded directly to the site to follow the developments, and to help guide the recovery. As a company, they provided condolences to the workers lost in the explosion and those injured.