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One Safe, Three Missing in Hydrodam Accident

Cambodian It On, 60, holds a hammer for breaking stone used in construction at Phnom Baseth hill, file photo.
PHNOM PENH - Authorities are searching for three missing construction workers at a Chinese hydroelectric dam in Pursat province, after pipes burst there on Saturday, causing a flash flood.

One man, who had been fishing nearby and was thought missing, has been found “safe and alive” at home in the first accident of its kind in Cambodia, at the Atay Dam, in Veal Veng district, some 100 kilometers from the provincial town capital, said Theang Leng chief of district police there.

Three workers from the dam are still missing, he said.

The accident occurred when pipes leading to the dam’s generator system burst Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The Atay Dam is operated by the China Datang Corporation and is worth $255 million. It is scheduled to start producing electricity in 2013.

That production will now be delayed, because the water has emptied from the reservoir, said Mao San, the provincial director for the Ministry of Industry.