NTPC power plant explosion kills 26, injures 100 in UP

November 3, 2017 NATIONAL 237 Views

At least 26 people were killed and around 100 injured in an explosion at a government-run coal-fired power plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district on Wednesday afternoon. (Highlights)
The plant was shut down and several workers were feared trapped under the debris. The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately known.
“The number of casualties might go up once the blades of the boiler are cut,” additional director general of police (law and order) Anand Kumar told Hindustan Times.
About 22 people with severe burns were referred to Lucknow, around 110km from the site, the officer said.
A statement from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) reported a “sudden abnormal sound” around 3.30pm at a new 500 megawatt (MW) unit of the 1,550 megawatt plant in Unchahar. The unit was commissioned this March.
“There was an explosion inside the boiler. After the coal burns it gets deposited and has to be cleared. The people who died were engaged in cleaning,” said a senior NTPC executive, who didn’t wish to be named.
State principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar confirmed the death toll and number of injured people.
“I saw heaps of dead and badly burnt bodies, there were cries for help when I reached the spot almost 15 minutes after the blast … It was a horrible scene,” said Ram Prakash, a labourer at the plant.
The accident occurred in the ash-handling section of the plant and smouldering cinder and steam gushed out, burying several workers, according to Lalmani Verma, an engineer at NTPC, India’s largest power-generation utility said in a statement.
“At that time the temperature was more than 140 degree Celsius and pressure was 765 kilogram millimeter square. It is so high that people within a 100-meter radius can be harmed.”
The project supplies electricity to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, New Delhi and Uttarakhand. The plant generates around 640MW.
The government sent a 32-member team of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) to the spot and sent 150 ambulances.
Experts sounded caution on the industrial disaster.

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