Explosion in NTPC plant kills 20 and more than 100 injured

RAE BARELI/NEW DELHI: At least 20 people were killed and around 100 injured in an explosion at a government-run coal-fired power plant in Uttar Pradesh’s  Wednesday afternoon.

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant was shut down and several workers were feared trapped under the debris. The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately known.

The number of casualties might go up once the blade soft he boiler are cut,” additional director general of police (law and order) Anand Kumar told Hindustan Times. About 22 people with severe burns were referred to Lucknow, he said.

A statement from NTPC reported a “sudden abnormal sound” around 3.30pm at a new 500 megawatt (MW) unit of the 1,550 megawatt plant in Unchahar. The unit was commissioned this March.

“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 cleaning ,” said a senior NTPC executive, who asked not to be named.

State principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar confirmed the toll.

“I saw heaps of dead and badly burnt bodies. There were cries for help when I reached the spot almost 15 minutes after the blast … It was a horrible scene,” said Ram Prakash, a labourer.

The accident occurred in the ash-handling section of the plant and smouldering cinder and steam gushed out, burying several workers, according to Lalmani Verma, an engineer at NTPC, which is India’s largest power-generation utility.

“At that time the temperature was more than 140 degree Celsius and pressure was 765 kilogram per square millimeter. It is so high that people within a 100- metre radius can be harmed ,” Verma added.

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Source : http://paper.hindustantimes.com

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