At least three workers have been killed and up to 16 others injured, some critically, in an explosion at the site of the Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project, currently under construction in Pakistan, while a further three workers have been killed in an accident at the construction site of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil.

According to local media reports, the explosion yesterday at Neelum-Jhelum was the result of a gas leak in a tunnel at the project. The three labourers confirmed dead at the scene were from Pakistan, with a number of Chinese nationals amongst the injured.

The 969MW project is due for completion in 2016. It involves construction of a concrete gravity diversion dam, headrace tunnel, surge chamber and underground powerhouse with four generating units.

At the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, Reuters reported that a silo collapsed at the construction site on Saturday, killing three workers and injuring a further three.

The controversial project is being built on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon. It will be the third largest hydropower project in the world once complete, with a capacity of 11.2GW.