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NTPC power plant blast: Death toll climbs to 30, Unchahar unit shut down

The death toll in this accident climbed to 30 today with more injured workers succumbing to their burn injuries
Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi November 02, 2017 21:34 IST
India TV News Desk

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) today announced that it has shut down a 500 MW unit at its Feroze Gandhi Unchahar Thermal Power Station in Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh after 30 people lost their lives in the accident that took place on Wednesday. 

"This is to inform that Unit 6 (500 MW) of Feroze Gandhi Unchahar Thermal Power Station, Rae Bareli, is under shut down after an accident in the evening of November 1, 2017. The other five units of the station are operating normally, " the NTPC informed BSE in writing. 

Meanwhile, the death toll in this accident climbed to 30 today with more injured workers succumbing to their burn injuries. 

The accident occured after a  massive explosion took place in a 500 MW boiler unit in Unchahar town on the Lucknow-Allahabad highway. Many were trapped when a fire erupted in the boiler and a huge ball of dust rose after the blast, making the rescue operations difficult.

Agitated workers claimed they had warned about an impending disaster at unit six as the temperature near the furnace had been steadily rising.

The NTPC has launched a probe into the incident, which it said took place due to "excess ash deposition" in the furnace. The state government has ordered a magisterial probe.

Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today visited Rae Bareli and met the families of the victims of massive explosion at Unchahar plant of NTPC. 

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who represents Raebareli in the Lok Sabha, in her condolence message said she wanted to be with the families of the victims to share their pain in this hour of grief, but could not do so due to her indisposition.

Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the accident. Rs 50,000 each will be given to those injured in the accident.

On Thursday, the prime minister said that he was deeply pained by the accident at the NTPC plant in Raebareli.

In a statement, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) said that at unit number six of its Unchahar plant, there was a sudden abnormal sound at 20-meter elevation around 3:30 in the afternoon.

There was an opening in corner number two from which hot flue gases and steam "escaped" affecting the people working around the area, the central public sector undertaking said. It added that around 80 people were rushed to NTPC hospital, most of whom were discharged after first-aid.

The 1,550-MW plant supplies electricity to nine states, according to officials, and employs around 870 people.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has cut short his election campaign in Gujarat to visit Uttar Pradesh's Raebareli where a massive explosion ripped a boiler at the state-run power giant NTPC's Unchahar plant killing at least 30 people and injuring nearly 100.

"Due to the unfortunate NTPC accident, I will visit Raebareli tomorrow morning. Will join Gujarat Navsarjan Yatra in the afternoon," Rahul Gandhi had tweeted on Wednesday night.

The Congress vice-president met the families of victims of a massive explosion at an NTPC power plant. Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday began his three-day campaign tour of south Gujarat, where Assembly poll is scheduled to be held in December.