20 dead, 100 hurt in NTPC boiler blast
Lucknow, (DHNS): As many as 20 labourers were killed and over 100 injured in a blast in a boiler pipe at a National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli district, about 125 km from here, on Wednesday.
According to sources, the number of casualties may increase as many labourers suffered serious burns and are stated to be critical. District officials confirmed 20 deaths, though unofficial sources put the death toll at 22.
Sources said that the blast occurred around 3.30 pm in the ash pipe of the 500 MW undertrial sixth unit at the NTPC plant situated in Unchahar of the district. Around 200 labourers were working at the unit when the incident occurred.
NTPC said in a statement that hot flue gases and steam that gushed out of an opening impacted several people working there. Several labourers are reportedly missing after the incident.
The injured have been rushed to hospitals at Raebareli, Lucknow and Allahabad. The hospitals have been put on alert and ambulances were rushed to the spot from the nearby districts to ferry the injured.
A team of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) has also been rushed to the site to assist in the relief and rescue operations. The premises have been sealed off and the entry of outsiders has been banned.
A large number of people, mainly the kin of the labourers, had assembled outside the NTPC plant in the hope of getting information about their near and dear ones, sources said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was visiting Mauritius, has announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that beds have been reserved at the hospitals in the state capital for the injured, who were being ferried from the plant. A high-level probe has been ordered into the incident, Uttar Pradesh Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said.