22 people lost their lives and dozens were injured in as a boiler exploded on Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the explosion is believed to be a pipe burst in a 500 MW newest power generating unit of state-run NTPC plant in Raebareli district of Uttar Pradesh. The causalities may increase as many are deemed to be still trapped inside. Several injured have suffered some severe burns on their body.
The power generating unit, which started its operations in March 2017 at the Unchahar plant, which is almost 30 years old. When the explosion occurred, a massive ball of dust rose, followed by a huge explosion making the rescue operation difficult to carry out.
An NTPC official stated that “…there was sudden abnormal sound at 20 mt. elevation and there was an opening…from which hot flue gases and steam escaped affecting the people working around the area.”
A Natural Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team arrived at the plant to carry out the rescue operations and the plant has been shut down.
Injured workers are being given treatment at 2 hospitals, one being on the campus itself. While those who have suffered severe injuries have been taken to hospitals in Lucknow, approx. 110 kms away.
Prime Minister Modi gave his inputs by tweeting, “Deeply pained by the accident at the NTPC plant in Raebareli. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. The situation is being closely monitored and officials are ensuring normalcy is restored.”
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, currently on a three-day official visit to Mauritius has ordered ₹2 lakh for the families of the deceased and ₹50,000 for the badly injured.
Vice president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, who is currently on an official visit to Gujrat for his election campaigning to be held next month also took to Twitter to announce his visit to the city saying, “Due to the unfortunate NTPC accident, I will visit Rae Bareli tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Will join Gujarat Navsarjan Yatra in the afternoon.”
Anand Kumar, who is one of the senior most police officers in the state said, “As of now, the immediate priority for us is to rush those injured to the best possible treatment and that is being done. All possible resources are being mobilized.”