The 3,600-MW Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Plant in Svitlodarske, Ukraine, was heavily damaged on Mar. 29 by a fire that killed one worker and seriously injured at least eight others. Four units at the seven-unit coal-fired plant were destroyed, and the region was temporarily without power and heating.

A report from the Interfax-Ukraine news agency stated that the blaze reportedly started after accumulated coal dust in the second unit caught fire Friday afternoon. The fire then spread to the roof and across the plant. Videos of the fire posted online showed massive clouds of black smoke pouring from almost the entire plant building.

The government has launched a criminal investigation into possible safety violations at the plant, according to Interfax-Ukraine. The country’s energy and coal industry minister, Eduard Stavytsky, stated on Mar. 30 that the plant would be fully rebuilt, though it was too soon to know when.

Vuhlehirska, which came online between 1972 and 1977, is majority (78.29%) owned by the Energy Company of Ukraine, with other companies and individuals holding the remainder.

Sources: Interfax-Ukraine, Pauluskp.com, Wikipedia

Thomas W. Overton, JD, Gas Technology Editor (@Thomas_Overton)

This story was first published April 2.