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Several dead in power plant blast

At least three people have died and more than a dozen were injured after a huge explosion rocked Kosovo's main power plant, according to authorities.

Officials believe the blast at the Kosovo A power plant, near the capital, Pristina, was caused during a botched replacement of hydrogen canisters used for cooling generators.

The powerful blast was heard in Pristina. A plume of black smoke could be seen rising from the coal-fired plant, as ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals.

Kosovo's civil emergency force said the body of one worker was retrieved from the site of the explosion and that other victims were being sought.

Police initially sealed off the area, fearing more explosions could follow emergency services dealt with the threat of further explosions and that the area was safe.

Kosovo's prime minister, Hashim Thaci, who visited the site of the blast, said all the workers have been evacuated from the complex.

The blast comes just days before a general election that has heightened tensions between rival parties amid allegations of corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

In the wake of the tragedy, Kosovo's main political parties suspended campaigning for Sunday's poll.

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