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Dozens of power plant workers freed after being trapped in tunnel by fire

Most of crew unharmed after blaze erupts in hydroelectric facility being built near Sea of Galilee; 3 taken to hospital for smoke inhalation

Rescue teams at the pumped storage hydroelectric facility at Belvoir Fortress in Israel, on December 13, 2021. (Courtesy: Magen David Adom)
Rescue teams at the pumped storage hydroelectric facility at Belvoir Fortress in Israel, on December 13, 2021. (Courtesy: Magen David Adom)

A fire broke out in a tunnel under construction at a hydroelectric facility in the Lower Galilee Monday, temporarily trapping approximately 30 workers inside. All were eventually evacuated safely.

The incident occurred at Kochav Hayarden National Park, south of the Sea of Galilee.

The workers were initially unable to escape the tunnel due to heavy smoke, and four firefighting crews entered the smoke-filled facility to search for them.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said it examined 14 people, three of whom required hospitalization for light smoke inhalation. They were sent to Baruch Padeh Medical Center near Tiberias.

The fire was put out.

The tunnel system, being constructed by Hong Kong-based firm Hutchison, is designed to produce some 344 MW/H of hydroelectric power when complete.

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