BY THE WIRE STAFF ON 02/11/2017
New Delhi: A boiler in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Unchahar plant in Rae Bareli exploded on Wednesday (November 1), leaving 22 people dead and close to 100 injured.
According to Uttar Pradesh police ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar, the toll from the explosion could rise further as people are feared to be trapped inside the plant.
The boiler pipe burst in the 500 MW power-generating unit that began operating in March, NDTV reported. A massive fire broke out and a large ball of dust rose after the explosion, making rescue difficult, the channel said.
“…there was sudden abnormal sound at 20 mt. elevation and there was an opening…from which hot flue gases and steam escaped affecting the people working around the area,” NDTV quoted NTPC as saying in a statement.
Chief minister Adityanath, who is away in Mauritius on a three-day official visit, ordered that necessary steps be taken for rescue and relief. “The chief minister has taken cognisance of the Unchahar accident and has directed principal secretary (home) to ensure that all steps are taken for rescue and relief,” principal secretary (information) Awanish Awasthi, who is accompanying Adityanath, said.
NTPC said in a statement, according to NDTV, “An unfortunate accident in the boiler of 500MW under trial unit of NTPC – Unchahar occurred this afternoon”.
The injured are being rushed to nearby hospitals, police have said. The district administration rushed ambulances to the plant and directed health officials to provide prompt treatment to the injured. A National Disaster Response Force team has also been sent to help with the rescue efforts.
The coal-fired plant is owned by India’s biggest power utility NTPC Ltd, and police officer Dhananjay Singh said the plant, has now been shut down.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to say officials were ensuring that normalcy is restored.