UPDATE: Three of six employees released from hospital after explosion at Priest Rapids hydro

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As of this morning, it has been reported that three of the six employees injured during the explosion at the 955.6-MW Priest Rapids hydro plant have been released from the hospital.

The remaining three are still being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where one is in critical condition, one improved to serious condition, and one remains in satisfactory condition.

A support fund has been established at Granco Federal Credit Union in Ephrata for the injured employees and their families.

Grant County Public Utility District reports that the investigation into the incident by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries is likely to take weeks. The main circuit breaker on one of the ten generating units malfunctioned. This unit will not operate again until the investigation is finished.

Below is the initial report on the incident, published on HydroWorld.com Friday, Oct. 9

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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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