NTPC Explosion: In an unfortunate incident in the Unchahar plant of NTPC Ltd in Rae Bareli, a boiler pipe explosion left at least 18 people dead and over 100 injured. 22 victims with severe burn injuries referred for Lucknow. Most injuries resulted from sustained burns from the explosion. The District Magistrate (DM) of Rae Bareli said the pressure at NTPC plant could have led to the explosion in the ash-pipe. The pipe was reported to be at least 30 years old.

NTPC in a statement issued confirmed the ill-fated event, “An unfortunate accident in the boiler of 500MW under the trial unit of NTPC–Unchahar occurred this afternoon.”

“Rescue operations are underway in close coordination with District Administration. Injured persons are being shifted to nearby hospitals,” the statement further said.

“…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,” the statement from NTPC added. 

Reports suggest that the trauma centre has been put on high alert. 30 beds have been readied for the management of patients. Apart from the general surgeons, a team of plastic surgeons has also been made available.

NTPC also said that an enquiry has been set up by the management to investigate the reasons for the accident.

Here is a glimpse of the massive explosion that took place in Rae Bareli.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, currently touring Mauritius, also took cognizance of the Unchahar accident and has directed Principal Secretary Home to ensure all steps are taken for rescue and relief. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has taken control of the premises and have barred all entries in the plant. As per reports, over 150 workers were on site when the explosion took place. The plant, with five units of 210 MW each, started generating power in 1988. The plant where the explosion has been reported was commissioned this year and had a capacity of 500 MW. It was under the trial unit of NTPC-Unchahar. The plant has now been shut down. 

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock and horror at the terrible tragedy in Rae Bareli, also her constituency, where 12 people were killed in a boiler blast in NTPC and several others injured. Conveying her deepest condolences to the families of the bereaved, the Congress president urged the authorities to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured. She has also asked UPCC & Congress workers to provide help in relief operations and provide all possible assistance to the families of the injured.

The office of Rahul Gandhi’s also tweeted out the condolence message.

Those injured in the explosion at the NTPC plant are being treated at the hospital inside the NTPC campus and also in the town. The expenses will be borne by the Uttar Pradesh government. There have been some burn injuries, 50-60 have been admitted. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi expressed anguish over the incident and has announced INR 2,00,000 for the families of the diseased, INR 50,000 for the grievously injured and INR 25,000 for the other injured.

A 32-member team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also left for Unchahar to assist in the relief process.