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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawmakers Seek 6 Firings in Dam Disaster

A parliamentary commission announced Monday that the head of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant and five other officials were responsible for the August disaster that killed 75 and recommended that they be dismissed.

The disaster occurred Aug. 17 when a turbine tore loose of its bolts in the plant’s engine room and flew into the air, leading to flooding that closed the plant.

Sayano-Shushenskaya head Nikolai Nevolko, plant chief engineer Andrei Mitrofanov and four other officials should be fired for ignoring the technical condition of the turbine cover, which had cracks and was improperly fastened with bolts, said commission chairman Vladimir Pekhtin, a United Russia deputy and a former hydro plant engineer.

He told reporters that the commission had determined that poor-quality repairs carried out by a company affiliated with plant management had contributed to the cover tearing loose of the bolts.

A total of 20 officials are responsible for the accident, he said. No senior officials with the plant’s parent company, state-run RusHydro, were named in the commission’s report, although it said “the management structure in RusHydro didn’t pay adequate attention to the safety of the plant’s operations.”

No one has been charged with wrongdoing yet in the accident.

The commission’s findings will now be sent to the Investigative Committee and both houses of parliament for review.