An explosion at Enel’s hydroelectric power plant in Bargi near Bologna, Italy, has resulted in the deaths of at least three workers, with four more unaccounted for.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday 9 April 2024.

The Italian utility group has confirmed that a fire broke out in one of the transformers at the plant.

The fire brigade reported that the explosion occurred at 3pm local time at a dam on Lake Suviana, which supplies the power station.

Camugnano town mayor Marco Masinara stated that three bodies had been recovered, four individuals were missing and three others were severely injured and hospitalised.

He suggested that a turbine defect might have caused the explosion. Enel has not yet provided a comment on the cause.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Enel has stated that the dam basin remains intact and that the plant was not operational at the time. There was no disruption to the electricity supply.

The company has evacuated the Bargi site and is working with emergency services.

The blast took place during maintenance at the decades-old Bergi facility. Regional fire chief Francesco Notaro informed the press that part of the nine-storey underground structure had collapsed, igniting a fire and causing flooding up to depths of 60m.

Search operations, assisted by divers, continued into the night, with caution due to the potential risk of further structural collapses, reported the Guardian newspaper, which quoted Masinara as saying: “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.”

The tragedy is expected to intensify the debate on workplace safety in Italy, with two major unions already planning a nationwide strike to address these concerns.

The incident follows a fatal accident in Florence earlier in 2024 in which five workers died during the construction of a supermarket.