Russia power plant fire: Chilling echo of Chernobyl as huge blaze kills 1 and injures 13

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The Severnaya thermal power plant in Chelobit’yevo caught fire following an explosion at a gas pipeline next to the plant. The operation of the power plant was suspended but the plant itself was not damaged, a senior energy official said. Flames soared 50 metres above the building.

More than 70 fire units tackled the blaze as 11 people were reportedly left with first and second degree burns in an incident which echoed the Chernobyl disaster.

Images of the plant show black smoke billowing out of Plant No 27 following the explosion.

The plant, which runs on natural gas, generating heat and electricity, has not been damaged in the incident.

An investigation has since been launched into the incident.

The fire was contained after it spread to an office building and a storage unit in just two hours.

The Mosenergo power generation company in Moscow’s Mytishchi district said the fire sparked outside the station.

The vicious fire reminded residents of the Chernobyl disaster in April, 1986.

The accident, which saw the Chernobyl 4 reactor destroyed, is what many consider the worst nuclear disaster in history.

More than 30 years after the accident, there are still many unanswered questions about the disaster, which caused the largest uncontrolled radioactive release into the environment ever recorded for any civilian operation.

The Chernobyl explosion was the result of a “flawed Soviet reactor design”, operated by “inadequately trained personnel”, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The Chernobyl plant used four Soviet-designed RBMK-1000 nuclear reactors — a design that’s now universally recognised as inherently flawed.

The nuclear plant operators made serious mistakes – a consequence of “Cold War isolation and the resulting lack of any safety culture”, the association adds.

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