Reporter Critical of Russian Plant Accident Attacked

A Russian reporter who wrote scathing articles about last month's deadly accident at a Siberian hydroelectric plant says he has been attacked by unknown assailants.

Mikhail Afanasyev of the regional news Web site Novy Fokus tells Ekho Moskvy radio that the attack early Wednesday near his house was probably connected to his articles about the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya dam.

An explosive water surge on Aug. 17 wrecked a turbine room at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant. The accident killed at least 74 people and was one of Russia's worst industrial accidents in decades.

Russian news reports said rescuers pulled a 74th body from the wreckage on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have charged Afanasyev with spreading false information and slandering rescuers in his reports.