NTPC accident: Boiler blast in UP’s Unchahar plant leaves 16 dead, 90-100 injured

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Lucknow: A blast in a boiler pipe in the state-run NTPC Ltd’s Unchahar plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and leaving 90-100 injured, UP principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar said.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his condolences over the deaths and announced Rs2 lakh compensation for the family of those killed and Rs50,000 for the grievously injured, an official said. “Four deaths have been confirmed by the district administration. The toll might go up,” additional director general of police (ADG) (law and order) Anand Kumar had earlier said.

He said around 40-50 people received burn injuries, and the condition of some of them was serious. All of them were being rushed to hospitals for treatment, he added. The Unchahar sub-division in Raebareli district is around 110km from the state capital. ADG Kumar said that all available ambulances were pressed into action and the additional district magistrate and the additional superintendent of police were on the spot to supervise relief and rescue operations.

Superintendent of Police Shivhari Meena told PTI that as per initial reports “50-60 persons suffered injuries” due to the accident. Chief minister Adityanath, who was away in Mauritius on a three-day official visit, ordered that necessary steps be taken for rescue and relief. The CM 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.

“The chief minister expressed his condolences over the deaths of workers in the Unchahar NTPC unit and announced Rs2 lakh compensation for the family of those killed and Rs50,000 for the grievously injured besides Rs25,000 for other injured workers,” Awasthi said. Meena said that relief and rescue operations were launched immediately and the injured were being rushed to nearby hospitals.

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also despatched to the explosion site from Lucknow for relief and rescue operations, an official said. The explosion triggered panic among the employees who ran helter-skelter. The district administration rushed ambulances to the spot and directed health officials to provide prompt treatment to the injured.

The NTPC, in a statement after the incident, said that “an unfortunate accident in the boiler of 500MW under trial unit of NTPC – Unchahar occurred this afternoon. Rescue operations are underway in close coordination with the district administration. Injured persons are being shifted to the nearby hospitals.” The NTPC’s senior management is rushing to the site to coordinate the efforts, the statement added.