NTPC blast: Death toll rises to 26, CM Adityanath declares Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia, Rahul Gandhi visits Raebareli

NTPC blast: Death toll rises to 26, CM Adityanath declares Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia, Rahul Gandhi visits Raebareli. Photo: Twitter.

Raebareli/Uttar Pradesh, November 02: 26 people were killed and at least 100 were injured as a boiler exploded in NTPC’s Unchahar plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli district. Many people who were at the premises of the NTPC suffered severe burns.

Though a few deaths were reported in the beginning, the death toll has risen to 22 by Thursday morning. Besides the injured already identified and admitted to the hospital, a few more are feared to be trapped inside the coal-fired plant.

According to Uttar Pradesh Police, the number of casualties increased after the blades of the boiler is cut open.

More than 150 ambulances were there to aide the rescue operation. About 22 victims who had severe burns have been sent to the Lucknow hospital and about 15 victims were sent to the Rae Bareli hospital. Some victims have been sent to a hospital in Allahabad.

Reportedly, the local administration and the NTPC officials have rushed to the site where the explosion occurred to join the rescue operation. As part of the reinforcing the rescue team, two companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) has also been deployed.

Four among those injured are the senior officials of assistant general manager-rank. Three of them were admitted to a hospital in Lucknow and later they were taken to Delhi.

According to the Medical Superintendent of Lucknow’s civil hospital, Ashutosh Dube, many of the victims have 80 to 90 percent burns and are in critical condition.

As said by eyewitnesses, the explosion was very strong so that there had no immediate chance for the employees to rescue themselves and others.

Rakesh Pandey, who was near the spot said that “I heard a deafening sound and saw the fire. There were bodies all around Unit 6.”

Raebareli sub-divisional magistrate Alok Kumar said that high pressure in a steam pipe of the boiler had caused the explosion. The Unit 6, where this fire occurred was commissioned recently. Reportedly, this unit was on trial. There were approximately 200 workers on the spot.

As there occurred a high-intensity explosion, the authorities have entrusted the CRPF and police personnel to check any unauthorised entry.

Meanwhile, the NTPC stated that it is not ruling out the chance of any human error.

Shrikant Sharma, the Energy Minister of Uttar Pradesh, admitted that it was a major industrial accident. he said that “Our top priority is to rescue those still trapped and provide best medical care to injured workers. We will certainly fix responsibility and initiate action against anyone found guilty,” he added.

An investigation has been initiated by the NTPC to find the cause of the accident.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had declared a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims who were killed and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had visited the hospital in Raebareli, where the victims are admitted. Raebareli is the parliamentary constituency of Rahul Gandhi and his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.