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12 workers rescued from power plant fire in Indian-controlled Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Some 12 workers were rescured on Thursday after a major fire engulfed a tunnel at a hydro power plant in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

The fire broke out at the power station in Uri town close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district, about 108 km northwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"The fire at Uri hydro electric project has been brought under control and 12 workers trapped inside the project have been have been evacuated safely," a government spokesman said.

According to the spokesman, senior police and civil officials were closely monitoring the situation on the spot.

The power plant is run by the government-owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

India's official broadcaster, All India Radio (AIR), quoted NHPC officials as saying that there was no report of causalities.

Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Farooq Ahmad Lone told reporters that firefighters from the region's Fire and Emergency Services department have been mobilized to douse the fire.

"Fire tenders from Uri and Baramulla have been rushed to the spot to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading," he said.

Eye-witnesses said smoke was billowing from the underground tunnel of the power station and firefighters had tough time to contain the inferno.

Officials said the power plant has been shut down as a precautionary measure.

The cause of fire was not known immediately. However, technical snag in one of the transformers is said to be the cause.

The 240MW power plant on Jehlum river was inaugurated in July by Indian Prime Ministrer Narendra Modi.

Officials at Fire and Emergency Services department say chances of fire in the region increase as people usually do not follow the safety standards vis-a-vis fire.

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