Explosion at Kosovo coal-fired power plant, injuries reported

by Reuters
Friday, 6 June 2014 10:11 GMT

* Explosion heard in capital

* Yugoslav-era power plant Kosovo's second largest

* Slated for shutdown to halt pollution (Adds details)

PRISTINA, June 6 (Reuters) - An explosion occurred at Kosovo's second biggest coal-fired power station outside the capital Pristina on Friday and police said some people had been hurt, possibly killed.

The blast at the Yugoslav-era 345 Megawatt (MW) Kosovo A plant was heard in the capital some 10 km (6 miles) away, a Reuters reporter said.

Confirming the explosion, a police spokesman said: "According to preliminary information, there are injured people, but there may also be dead. This has to be confirmed."

Kosovo A and the larger Kosovo B plant account for 90 percent of electricity generation in the Balkan country, which still suffers from blackouts 15 years since breaking free from Serbia in a 1998-99 war during the collapse of federal Yugoslavia.

Some 40 years old, Kosovo A is considered one of the worst polluters in Europe. There are plans to shut down the plant in the next several years as part of an effort to upgrade Kosovo's creaking energy system.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Writing by Matt Robinson, Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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