Workers killed at hydro plants in Brazil and Pakistan

At least three workers have been killed and up to 16 others injured, some critically, in an explosion at the site of the Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project, currently under construction in Pakistan, while a further three workers have been killed in an accident at the construction site of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil.

According to local media reports, the explosion yesterday at Neelum-Jhelum was the result of a gas leak in a tunnel at the project. The three labourers confirmed dead at the scene were from Pakistan, with a number of Chinese nationals amongst the injured.

The 969MW project is due for completion in 2016. It involves construction of a concrete gravity diversion dam, headrace tunnel, surge chamber and underground powerhouse with four generating units.

At the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, Reuters reported that a silo collapsed at the construction site on Saturday, killing three workers and injuring a further three.

The controversial project is being built on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon. It will be the third largest hydropower project in the world once complete, with a capacity of 11.2GW. –

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