Dam fire kills two

By Steve Skinner22 September 2009

The Kariba Dam in Zambia, Africa

The Kariba Dam in Zambia, Africa

A fire in the north bank power station of the Kariba dam in Siavonga, Zambia has claimed the lives of two workers.

A further eight workers are currently in the Siavonga district hospital receiving treatment for their injuries, while a ninth has been transferred to the University teaching hospital for treatment of what are described as severe burns.

The fire broke out at 3pm on 18 September and the Ministry of Energy and water Development has asked the Zambia Police Service to conduct forensic investigations into the cause of the fire.

A statement from Zesco, Zambia's state electricity company, said that two generators with a capacity of 360 MW automatically tripped-out as a protective measure. Eventually, the entire power station, which was generating 540 MW, was shutdown to protect it from damage as the inferno spread through the station.

An initial assessment of the station indicated that the generators following the blaze were intact. However, thorough tests are being conducted to check for damage.

As a temporary measure, Zesco will operate load shedding in Zambia to manage the sudden power deficit caused by the fire.

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