Blast in India’s Uttar Pradesh NTPC power plant leaves 20 dead, 100 injured


An explosion at a government-owned power plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district claimed the lives of at least 20 and left over 100 injured on Wednesday afternoon.

The mishap occurred at NTPC’s Unchahar plant, located on Lucknow-Allahabad highway, 115 kilometres from the state capital Lucknow.

Formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd, the public-sector unit produces electricity through coal-based thermal power plants and was conferred the Maharatna status for exemplary performance.

The Uttar Pradesh government’s information department issued a press release stating that the blast occurred around 3:30 pm.

Hot gases and steam began to leak at the plant’s corner no. 2, affecting those working in the area.

Around 80 people were rushed to the NTPC hospital and most were discharged after receiving first-aid treatment.

Unofficial reports pegged the number of the injured at 150.

Around 16 people suffered severe injuries and were referred to nearby hospitals for treatment.

However, in view of rush on the Lucknow- Rae Bareli road, the injured were then taken to hospitals in Allahabad, which is 85 kilometres from Unchahar.

An injured employee undergoing treatment at a hospital said that a sudden gush of hot gas with contents of ash-like material engulfed him at the NTPC plant. The man said he was unable to understand what had happened and found himself on a hospital bed with his body scalded all over, when he regained consciousness.

Two teams of doctors (burn injury and emergency service experts), police and a 32-member team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the power plant. By night, the plant was blanketed in heavy security.

The district magistrate, city magistrate, superintendent of police and senior officers of the NTPC also reached the spot.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Member of Parliament from Rae Bareli, offered condolences for the victims and their families.

Principal secretary of Uttar Pradesh’s health department directed all government hospitals in and around Rae Bareli to put doctors on emergency duty.

The NTPC management has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

 The Uttar Pradesh government announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased.

NTPC’s Unchahar plant is a coal-based power station that provides power to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttranchal.

The power’s first unit was commissioned in 1998 and the last and sixth unit was commissioned in 2006.




Source: Indian News agencies