One dead following Argentina thermo plant explosion

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Friday, August 1, 2014

One person died and at least three were seriously injured following an explosion this morning at the Pilar thermoelectric plant in Argentina's Córdoba province, local media reported.

The deceased was a 50-year-old farmer who was driving on a highway adjacent to the plant when a section of gas pipeline exploded shortly after 9:30am, according to local paper La Voz del Interior.

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The explosion happened at the facility's TGN pipeline and led to power outages in the state, according to wholesale power regulator Cammesa.

Power has since been restored and officials launched an investigation into the explosion. Firefighters had brought the blaze under control, Cammesa said.

The 500MW combined-cycle plant is operated by provincial generator Epec.

Cammesa recorded outages on the 132kV Pilar-Almafuerte 1 and 2 transmission line sections and a complete loss of power at the Pilar facility at around 9:40am, followed by successive outages totaling approximately 510MW throughout Epec's 132kV network.

"There was a loss of gas, an explosion and an immediate fire," Epec president Osvaldo Simone told media.