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Rahul Gandhi demands judicial probe into NTPC blast, meets victims

29 people died and over 60 injured in the boiler blast at the state-run power giant NTPC’s Unchahar plant

india Updated: Nov 02, 2017 19:15 IST
Kenneth John
Kenneth John
Hindustan Times, Rae Bareli (Unchahar)
Rahul Gandhi,Congres vice president,NTPC
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi arrives to meet the family members of the victims of Unchahar NTPC boiler blast in Raebareli on Thursday. (PTI Photo )

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded a judicial probe into the boiler blast at the state-run power giant NTPC’s Unchahar plant in which 29 people died and over 60 injured.

He made the demand after visiting the district hospital in Rae Bareli, where the injured were undergoing treatment.

“The accident showed serious lapse in working of the unit and to know the reason behind it a judicial probe was needed,” Gandhi said during a brief interaction with media at the hospital.

Congress vice-president rushed to Rae Bareli taking a break from his ongoing Navsarjan Yatra in poll-bound Gujarat.

Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

To ascertain the cause of the blast, the NTPC has initiated a probe amid allegations from labourers that they had warned about the possible disaster at the ill-fated unit-six as the temperature near the furnace was steadily rising.

Gandhi consoled family members of victims who lost their lives in the blast and enquired about the condition of those admitted in the hospital.

Later, the Amethi member of parliament also visited private hospitals, SIMHANS and Nirmal, and enquired about condition of blast victims admitted there.

He also visited the site of boiler blast on NTPC premises and enquired about the accident from officials.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and UP Congress chief Raj Babbar accompanied the Congress vice president.

“The laxities in construction should be probed thoroughly as without a major lapse accident of such magnitude was not possible,” said Babbar.

The 500 megawatt unit 6 of the power plant was commissioned in April but due to technical fault in the boiler it failed to produce power.

“We demand a judicial probe into the tragedy. Setting up of an enquiry committee by government is just eyewash,” reiterated Azad.

During his visit to the blast site Gandhi came face to face with union power minister RK Singh, who also visited the plant and took stock of the situation.

Singh denied any human negligence led to the blast.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 18:56 IST

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