Several injured in structure collapse at 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower project

Seven employees were injured when a support structure collapsed at the Muskrat Falls hydropower project late Sunday night.

The incident occurred when the framework supporting a concrete pour near the powerhouse’s No. 2 draft tube collapsed, covering several workers in wet concrete.

Seven employees were treated at the site, with one transported to a nearby hospital. None of the injuries are considered serious, according to civil works contractor Astaldi Canada.

Construction in the area of the collapse has been suspended, the company said, while owner Nalcor Energy and the province’s Occupational Health and Safety branch conduct an investigation.

The accident is only the latest setback for the 824-MW hydroelectric plant.

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this month that Andritz Hydro Canada had sued the Muskrat Falls Corp., alleging that it is being forced to complete its work on a compressed timeline following construction delays.

Muskrat Falls is to be located on the Churchill River in Labrador, downstream from the existing Churchill Falls project. It is one component of the Lower Churchill complex, which could also eventually include the 2,250-MW Gull Island plant.

The project has been controversial throughout its development, though multiple studies have defended it as the least-cost option for future power generation.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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