By Helena Smolak and Mauro Orru

The death toll following an explosion at a hydroelectric power plant owned by Rome-based energy group Enel rose to four as rescue workers continued their search for three missing people.

Spokespeople for the Italian National Fire and Rescue Service and the police said Thursday that rescuers had found a body underwater at the facility in Bargi on the shores of Lake Suviana, close to Bologna in northern Italy, though they weren't able to identify the victim.

Authorities said an underground explosion, likely the result of a fire in a turbine or a transformer on Tuesday afternoon, had caused collapses and flooding in the facility. Five people were injured, while three were unscathed.

Divers ventured into flooded areas several stories underground in search for the missing. Video footage and images shared by the fire brigade showed thick smoke rising from the facility and rescue workers inside the premises, with wires hanging from the damaged walls and ceiling.

Enel Green Power, Enel's renewable arm, said that it would continue to collaborate with the authorities to ascertain the facts behind the incident. In response, Enel Green Power set aside a fund of 2 million euros ($2.1 million) to assist those affected.

The company said the plant was undergoing efficiency and improvement works that it had entrusted to Siemens, ABB and Voith in 2022 and that generation facilities testing was underway when the accident occurred.

Spokespeople for Siemens and Siemens Energy acknowledged the accident but didn't provide further details.

A spokeswoman for ABB said Thursday that one of its employees at the site remains missing. The employee was assisting with the commissioning of two systems supplied by ABB and installed by Enel Green Power at the end of 2023, the ABB spokeswoman added.

A Voith spokeswoman said that one of its employees was also missing.

Write to Helena Smolak at and Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-11-24 0850ET