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6 utility employees injured in Washington state dam explosion on Columbia River

MATTAWA, Wash. – Officials with the Grant Public Utility District say six employees have been injured in an explosion at Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River.

Utility district spokesman Thomas Stredwick says the employees were injured Thursday afternoon in an explosion attributed to electrical equipment at the dam in Central Washington near Mattawa.

The six have various levels of injuries with some flown to hospitals and others transported by ambulance. Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg says the Seattle hospital is expecting two people from the explosion to arrive there for treatment.

Stredwick says the structure of the dam is stable and no one down the river is at risk.

Multiple agencies responded to the incident including the Hanford Fire Department.