Eight people were injured in an accident at the Auvere Power Plant on Tuesday afternoon, three of them seriously.
According to state-owned energy giant Eesti Energia, eight people were evacuated and taken to hospital after the incident, which took place between 13:00 and 14:00 on Tuesday. The rescue services got a call at 13:56.
Eesti Energia said that the incident took place due to the ash removal system malfunction at the new power plant, which is under construction. The ash had been in the collector for a few days and was not hot. According to the company, the initial reports of people suffering burns due to hot ash are thus incorrect.
Pille Letjuka, head of the Narva Hospital's A&E department, confirmed that the victims suffered mainly respiratory failure and damage to the respiratory tract when breathing in alkaline ash.
"According to our senior medic, the three in the intensive care are in a serious but hemodynamically stable condition." They are all in induced coma and on ventilators for now, and their respiratory tracts are being cleaned, she said.
The five people whose condition is less severe suffered damage to their eyes and less serious respiratory damage. Their condition is closely monitored, as "the reactions may occur a little later," Letjuka added.
AS Narva Elektrijaamad, a subsidiary of Eesti Eenergia, signed a contract with the French power engineering company Alstom for construction of the new Auvere Power Plant next to the existing Eesti Power Plant on January 14, 2011. The €540 million contract calls for construction of a 300 MW oil-shale-fired unit. The unit will utilize circulating fluidized bed boiler technology. The plant is supposed to be completed this year.
Editor: S. Tambur, M. Oll