Six employees injured in explosion at Priest Rapids hydro facility

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At about 4:15 pm on Oct. 8, an explosion was reported at the 955.6-MW Priest Rapids hydro facility, with six injuries.

The injured employees have been taken to regional medical facilities via airlift or ambulance, according to a press release from project owner Grant County Public Utility District. Grant County PUD said the extent of their injuries is unknown at this time; news reports indicate at least two of the employees are in critical condition.

The cause of the explosion has been attributed to electrical equipment and the hydroelectric facility and dam remain stable. The PUD says there are no imminent public safety or downstream flooding risks associated with this incident.

Priest Rapids, on the Columbia River in Washington, began operating in 1956. The facility is undergoing a $61.6 million refurbishment to be completed in 2026.

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