Power plant blast kills two injures one

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, June 29, 2006 – An explosion at a power plant in Trinidad and Tobago has left two dead and one injured.

Dead are 26-year-old Anil Jilal of Barackpore who died instantly after the explosion which burnt his body to a crisp while his badly burnt colleague 27-year-old Tarran Jilmit of Penal died on the way to hospital who were working at the PowerGen’s Penal 33KV indoor switch-house in the south of Trinidad Wednesday morning. A third employee, Don Andrews, remains at the San Fernando General Hospital where he is being treated for serious burns.

Investigations are underway to determine the reason for the blast which also knocked out the power to the village of Penal.

, which supplies electricity to the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), said the three men were conducting routine maintenance work inside the 33KV indoor switch house when the incident occurred.

“We have set up a team to investigate the incident and to determine what caused the explosion. As of now, we are not certain as to what was the cause,” said PowerGen’s Corporate Communications Manager, Omar Khan, who added that counsellors had been brought in to help relatives and employees deal with the deaths.

This is the first time such an accident occurred at PowerGen.

PowerGen is a joint venture owned 39 percent by the US power generating company Mirant, 10 percent by the British oil and gas exploration company BP and 51 percent by the state-owned Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC). Other Mirant plants are located in the United States, Philippines, Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas and Jamaica.

In February this year Mirant singed a US$39 million deal with the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. (PowerGen) for a 30-year power purchase agreement with T&TEC for a 208 megawatt expansion at PowerGen’s Point Lisas Power Station. The new facility will be a natural-gas-fired, simple-cycle power plant utilizing two combustion turbines.