Europe

Two killed in Kosovo power station blast near Pristina

  • 6 June 2014
  • From the section Europe
Forensic experts inspect the site of a explosion at Kosova A power plant in Obilic near Pristina on 6 June 2014. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption An investigation has been launched at the site of the explosion near Pristina

A large explosion at a coal-fired power station outside Kosovo's capital Pristina has left at least two people dead, officials say.

Health Minister Ferid Agani said 13 others were wounded in the incident but none were in critical condition.

The blast struck the Kosovo A plant, the country's second biggest, and was heard in the capital some 10km (6 miles) away.

Kosovo A and B power stations provide some 90% of the nation's electricity.

The country still suffers regular blackouts, 15 years after breaking away from Serbia in the wake of the Balkan war.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The power plant's exterior walls were severely damaged in the explosion

Video images showed thick smoke rising from the plant.

Ambulances were seen racing to the scene.

"The explosion was so strong that I thought it was an earthquake," an injured engineer who escaped the blast told local media.

"The ceiling started to fall. Before I left the plant I noticed many wounded and much blood," he added.

Outgoing Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, who visited the plant shortly after the blast, told reporters that there was no risk of further explosions.

Kosovo's main political parties suspended their campaign rallies planned for Friday ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

The ageing Kosovo A plant, which has a capacity of 450 MW, is cited as a heavy pollutant.