Six people were killed in the explosion on Tuesday April 9 at a hydroelectric power station in northern Italy and another person remains missing, according to a new report released Thursday evening.

Firefighters reported having found two new bodies in the underground levels of the Bargi power plant located on the banks of the Suviana artificial water reservoir in the small town of Camugnano, about fifty kilometers south of Bologna. A third body was found later Thursday, the Ansa agency said in the evening.

Around a hundred firefighters, including twelve divers, are still present on site to continue the search, firefighters told Agence France-Presse (AFP). A previous count published Thursday reported five dead and two missing.

The plant is managed by Enel Green Power, the renewable energy production unit of the Italian giant Enel, which has set up a fund of two million euros for the victims and their loved ones.

Production interrupted

In a statement to AFP, the company explained that a fire had affected one of the two groups at the power plant in a place called Bargi. “After investigation, the Bargi plant dam basin was not damaged and is safe,” the group said. Production has been interrupted, but there has been no impact on local or national supply.

“Efficiency improvement works” were underway at the plant when the explosion occurred, according to Enel Green Power. “There was no security problem, it was an intervention planned since September 2022 (…) for a technical update,” explained Enel Green Power CEO Salvatore Bernabei on Thursday, quoted by the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera. This work was entrusted to three major specialist companies: Siemens, ABB and Voith.

An investigation by the Bologna public prosecutor’s office is underway and it will examine, among other things, the chain of subcontractors, Bologna prosecutor Giuseppe Amato told the local press.

At the end of 2021, Italy had 4,646 hydroelectric power stations, mainly located in the north of the country. At the end of 2021, hydroelectric plants, with a production of 45.39 terawatt hours, represented more than 14% of national consumption and 39% of the production of renewable sources.