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Australia power plant arc flash kills worker

15 November 2018

A worker died after suffering significant burns to most of his body in an explosion at a major power plant in Victoria, Australia. Initial reports indicate the Yallourn Power Station employee was working on a generator unit after an outage when a high-voltage circuit breaker exploded and the man suffered serious injuries as a result, including widespread burns to his upper and lower body.

Yallourn Power Plant - Shutterstock
Yallourn Power Plant - Shutterstock

Ambulance Victoria said the man was in a critical condition when paramedics arrived and he was flown by helicopter to hospital in Melbourne, but died on the afternoon of November 13.

Work Safe Victoria investigators are now examining the circumstances of the incident.
A spokesman for Energy Australia, which owns the facility, said a full investigation would be carried out but the immediate concern was making sure his family and company staff receive all necessary support.
Yallourn Power Station has six coal-fired thermal plants, providing one-fifth of Victoria’s energy requirements, and is located in Latrobe Valley.

Local media said the fatal incident, thought to be an arc flash, occurred during a scheduled maintenance of the generators which was part of a $40 million programme.

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