NTPC accident Highlights: 26 killed in explosion at power plant in Rae Bareli, PM Modi says situation being monitored

Officials said relief and rescue operations were launched immediately and the injured were being rushed to nearby hospitals.
A visual from the spot after an accident at NTPC’s Unchahar plant on Wednesday.(Hindustan)
A visual from the spot after an accident at NTPC’s Unchahar plant on Wednesday.(Hindustan)
Updated on Nov 02, 2017 11:16 AM IST
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Lucknow, Hindustan Times | By

The death toll in the explosion at a government-run coal-fired power plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli district on Wednesday afternoon rose to 26, an official said on Thursday.

A statement from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) reported a “sudden abnormal sound” around 3.30pm at a recently commissioned 500 megawatt unit of the 1550 megawatt (MW) plant in Unchahar.

“There was an explosion inside the boiler. After the coal burns it gets deposited and has to be cleared. The people who died were engaged in that cleaning,” said a senior NTPC executive, requesting anonymity.

“The accident occurred in the ash-handling section of the plant and ash gushed out at high-temperature, burying several workers,” and engineer at NTPC said.

The plant has been shut down but several workers were still feared trapped under the debris as visuals showed people with severe burn injuries. The cause of the accident wasn’t immediately known.

“The toll might quickly increase,” additional director general (law and order) Anand Kumar told Hindustan Times. State principal secretary Home Arvind Kumar confirmed the death and injuries toll.

The accident occurred in the ash-handling section of the plant and ash gushed out at high-temperature, burying several workers, said Lalmani Verma, an engineer at NTPC.

“In NTPC Unchahar, Unit No. 6 at around 1530 hrs on 01.11.2017 there was sudden abnormal sound at 20 mt. elevation and there was opening in corner no.2 from which hot flue gases and steam escaped affecting the people working around the area,” India’s largest power-generation utility said in a statement.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who is on a three-day visit to Mauritius, announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for the injured. “Every possible help will be given,” he tweeted.

Rae Bareli control room numbers are: 0535-2703301, 2703401, 2703201

Below are the highlights:

9:47pm: Additional director general (law and order) Anand Kumar says 18 people have died in the mishap at the NTPC plant.

9:40pm: PM Modi says he’s deeply pained by the accident at the NTPC plant in Rae Bareli.

9:03 pm: Union power minister RK Singh to reach Rae Bareli tomorrow. UP ministers Suresh Khanna and Swami Prasad Maurya leave for Rae Bareli.

8:32 pm: “An incident involving a high pressure and high temperature area can have serious repercussions. This appears to be a very unusual incident because NTPC has a high record of safety. Let us wait for the investigation report,” says Anil Razdan, India’s former power secretary.

8:15 pm: The injured are being transported to KGMC, Lucknow, Allahabad hospital and Rae Bareli district hospital: ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar.

8:12 pm: Sonia Gandhi asks UP Congress president Raj Babbar to rush to Rae Bareli to help organise relief operations.

8 pm: Chief Medical Officer of Raebareli, DK Singh, says 14 people have died.

7:19 pm: Principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar said death toll has increased to 12 and 100 injured.

7:13 pm: Minister for labour and employment Swami Prasad Maurya leaves for Rae Bareli to meet victims.

7:11 pm: CISF has cordoned off the blast site and assisting in relief operations.

Our primary objective is to provide immediate medical treatment to those injured: UP ADG (Law and Order).

6:40 pm:

6:30 pm: Union health minister JP Nadda speaks to UP health minister, also asks Union health secretary to extend all possible help.

6:28 pm: Statement released by NTPC.

6:22 pm: Principal secretary health Prashant Trivedi directs all government hospitals in and around Rae Bareli to put doctors on ‘emergency duty.’

6:20 pm: Sonia Gandhi asks partymen in Rae Bareli to extend all the possible help to the victims.

Gandhi deputes Dhirendra Srivastava from Rajiv Gandhi Foundation to visit the site and make necessary arrangements for help.

6:19 pm: A massive fire broke out inside and a huge ball of dust rose after the explosion, making rescue operations difficult, an official told IANS.

6:16 pm: Ash-pipe exploded due to pressure at NTPC plant in Rae Bareli,” District Magistrate tells ANI.

6:13 pm: Over 150 ambulances have been pressed into relief and rescue work.

The district magistrate and SP rush to the spot.

6:10 pm: KK Singh, Chief Medical Officer, Rae Bareli says eight dead bodies have been moved from the NTPC plant.

6:05 pm: An 32-member NDRF team leaves Lucknow for Unchahaar.

6.00 pm: SP Shivhari Meena tells PTI that according to initial reports “50-60 persons suffered injuries.

5: 55 pm: Rs 2 Lakhs compensation announced for the family of deaceased, Rs 50 thousand for those grievously injured and Rs 25 thousand for other injured workers.

(with inputs from Hindustan and agencies)


    Rajesh Kumar Singh is a special correspondent at HT Lucknow. He covers State Home Department, State Police, Central police agencies,BSP, Health Department, UP Chief Electoral Officer, Irrigation Department, Mining and, Lokayukta.

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