About 30 persons engaged in a trial run of a hydroelectric station in Mandi district had a narrow escape on late Saturday night when a water flow regulating channel gave way, deluging the power house and damaging machines worth crores of rupees besides entrapping engineers and workers.
Luckily no one was hurt in the mishap which occurred at Uhl Stage (III) project at Chulla village in Jogindernagar subdivision, Mandi Superintendent of Police Gurdev Sharma said.
Several men got entrapped in the power house as the penstock a channel or pipe for conveying water to a hydroelectric station or waterwheel gave way, Jogindernagar Sub Divisional Magistrate Amti Mehra said.
Meanwhile, the government has ordered a high level inquiry and appointed a-three-member panel headed by HPSEB chairman to probe the mishap.
The officials present on spot said that the trial run of the much delayed project was started around 11 pm and 8 MW generation was started
When the generation was increased to 16 MW, there was a blast in penstock of the project, as a result water entered the power house and damaged the powerhouse and machinery worth crores of rupees, they added.
The load of machinery was to be increased up to 32 MW but the penstock could not sustain the water pressure, they added.
About 30 persons were in the power house at the time of its trial run. They were rescued.
The water flow was stopped by the timely action of engineers present on the spot.
Mandi Member of Parliament Ramswroop Sharma and Jogindernagar MLA Parkash Rana visited the spot.