NTPC explosion leaves 16 dead, scores scorched

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Rae Bareli, UP: An explosion ripped a boiler in the state-run power giant NTPC’s Unchahar plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district on November 1, killing at least 16 persons while scores suffered severe burn injuries. The toll may rise further. The NTPC initiated a probe to ascertain the reasons behind the blast while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured, they added.
In a statement, the NTPC said that at around 1530 hrs at unit number six of its Unchahar plant, there was a sudden abnormal sound at 20 meters elevation. 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 them were discharged after giving first-aid.
Union Power minister R K Singh, through social media posts, expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives and said that he had directed the NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh to rush to the site.
UP’s ADG (Law and Order) Anand 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.
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 Rs 2 lakh compensation for the family of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured besides Rs 25,000 for other injured workers,” Awasthi said.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also despatched to the explosion site from the state capital for relief and rescue operations, an official said. The explosion triggered panic among the employees who ran helter-skelter. Such explosions can generate searing heat, an official said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed shock and horror at the “terrible tragedy” in her Lok Sabha constituency Raebareli. Conveying her deepest condolences to the families of the bereaved, Gandhi urged upon the authorities to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured.

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