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SRISAILAM : A massive fire in a government-run underground electricity plant killed at least nine workers in Telangana on Friday, reported news agency PTI citing Nagarkurnool Collector.

Six bodies including body of Assistant Engineer, have been recovered by rescue teams so far and efforts were on to pull out the others from the underground plant, Nagarkurnool District Collector L Sharman said.

The fire broke out late on Thursday night when at least 17 people were inside the plant and eight of them managed to come out, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concern over the mishap. "Fire at the Srisailam hydroelectric plant is deeply unfortunate. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I hope those injured recover at the earliest,"he said.

"Deeply anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to tragic fire accident at the Srisailam hydroelectric plant in Telangana. My deepest condolences are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest," said Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday expressed shock over the massive fire. Ordering the officials to extend all possible help to Telangana counterparts for the rescue operations, the CM cancelled his visit to Srisailam which was scheduled for today in the wake of the accident, according to the Chief Minister's Office's (CMO) tweeted.

Rescuers from the National Disaster Relief Force joined the search operation at the plant, which is located at a river dam nearly 220 kilometers (140 miles) south of Hyderabad, the state capital.

According to reports, the fire caused an explosion in one of the six electricity generating units at the plant. The smoke from the blaze engulfed all six units, hampering rescue operations.

Fire engines took several hours to extinguish the blaze, it said.

Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao announced 50 lakh ex-gratia for Deputy Engineer Srinivas Goud’s family and 25 lakh each for families of others who died in Srisailam Power Plant fire accident. Their family members will also get one job each, said Chief Minister's Office.

In July, five workers were killed and 16 injured when a boiler exploded at a government-run electricity plant at Neyveli in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

With inputs from agencies

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