In August 2009, the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station had a turbine completely fall apart causing a significant flood with major collateral damage. Not only were 9-10 turbines broken, the building destroyed and a widespread power outage, but there were 75 fatalities.

So, what happened? Long story short, when the turbines were in installed in 1979, multiple problems with the seals appeared and were fixed. Similar problems occurred again in 2000 and were again worked on and reconditioned. In March 2009, the plant performed scheduled maintenance, repair and modernization on the turbine, but did not properly rebalance the runner causing increased vibrations, which causes damage to turbine seals over time. The night of the accident, the vibrations were out of control, and despite multiple attempts to stop the turbine, it still erupted violently.

For more details of the accident, click here.