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Suviana: Search after deadly power plant explosion in Italy

Italian trade unions to stage protest on Thursday over workplace deaths.

At least three people were killed and four are missing following an explosion at a hydroelectric power plant on Lake Suviana in northern Italy on Tuesday.

A search continues for the missing workers after the blast led to the partial collapse of the underground structure at Bargi, about 70 km south-west of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region.

Five workers were hospitalised, three of them with serious injuries, following the disaster which is believed to have been caused after a turbine exploded on the eighth floor underground.

The blast sparked a fire that led to the collapse of a ceiling and flooding at depths of up to 40 metres, making rescue efforts complicated and dangerous.

The crew of technicians had been carrying out maintenance work on the plant which dates to the 1970s and is operated by Italian energy provider Enel.

The three Italian men killed by the explosion were aged 36, 45 and 73, according to local news reports.

Italy's prime minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday said she is following "the terrible news with concern", offering solidarity to the families of the victims and the injured, and thanking all those involved in the rescue effort.

The disaster has reignited a debate in Italy about workplace deaths and comes ahead of a day of strikes and protests on Thursday to highlight issues including safety in the workplace.

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