'Popular and hardworking' Victorian worker dies after explosion at Yallourn Power Station

| 13.11,18. 05:38 PM |

'Popular and hardworking' Victorian worker dies after explosion at Yallourn Power Station

Photo: The man suffered burns while he was working on a generating unit, during an outage at the Yallourn Power Station (ABC TV)

A man has died in hospital today after an explosion at the Yallourn Power Station, in Victoria's east.

The man, aged in his 50s, was flown to Melbourne's Alfred Hospital with severe burns to his upper and lower body after a high-voltage circuit breaker exploded at the station at about four o'clock yesterday afternoon.

The power station's owner, Energy Australia, said in a statement he was a "popular and hard working employee" from the Latrobe Valley, who had been with the company for 33 years.

The head of Yallourn, Mark Pearson, told the ABC they were offering support to the worker's family and counsellors have been called in to help staff at the plant.

   "[He] was a great worker with us [and] was involved in preparing some high voltage supplies for service," Mr Pearson said.

"Something has gone wrong in the process, but as a consequence he has been badly burned."

"We don't know what's happened, so at the moment we have WorkSafe and Energy Safe Victoria on site, commencing their investigations and we'll continue to work with them to assist them to determine the root cause," Mr Pearson said.

CFMEU organiser Duncan MacGregor also issued a statement.

"We urge authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this horrific event so that we can prevent anything like it from happening again," he said.

   "All workers deserve to come home at the end of the day."

The Yallourn Power Station is one of three brown coal-fired plants in the Latrobe Valley, 150 kilometres east of Melbourne.

It has a licence to continue operating until 2026, but that is under review.


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