NTPC blast toll rises to 30, over 100 injured: top 10 developments

Smoke billowing out of NTPC’s Unchahar power plant, in Raebareli district, that saw an explosion on Wednesday. Photo: PTI
A blast in an Uttar Pradesh thermal electricity plant operated by NTPC has so far claimed the lives of 30 people and injured more than 100, and the toll is expected to rise as many are still feared to be trapped inside the unit.

On Wednesday, a newly commissioned 500 Mw power generating unit in Unchahar, near Lucknow, witnessed an explosion when the boiler pipe in the unit burst sending a huge plume of dust and ash into the air which severely burned people working in the vicinity. The injured are being treated in Lucknow, NTPC's clinic in Unchahar and in Allahabad.

Here are the top 10 developments in the story

1. While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is abroad, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma will be visiting Rae Bareli on Thursday. (Read more here)

2. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who took a detour from his ongoing Gujarat election campaign, visited Rae Bareli in UP on Thursday to meet the families of victims of the explosion. Rae Bareli is the constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. (Read more here)

3. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has asked party cadres to help in rescue operations, according to an IndiaToday report.  

4. NTPC has ordered an internal probe to look into the cause of the explosion. 

5. CM Adityanath, who is in Mauritius on a tour, announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for those severely injured and Rs 25,000 for people with minor injuries. 

6. Shrikant Sharma, energy minister in the UP government, admitted to the incident being a major industrial accident and said, "Our top priority is to rescue those still trapped and provide best medical care to injured workers. We will certainly fix responsibility and initiate action against anyone found guilty."

7. NTPC said that around 80 people were rushed to its hospital, most of whom were discharged after first-aid. (Here is the link to the Ministry of Power's release regarding the accident)

8. Union Power Minister R K Singh, through social media posts, expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives and said that he had directed NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh to rush to the site.

Deeply pained by the accident at NTPC Unchahaar in Raebareli.My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones: Shri

— Office of R.K. Singh (@OfficeOfRKSingh) November 1, 2017

CMD NTPC has been directed to proceed to the site immediately and ensure immediate relief to the affected: Shri @RajKSinghIndia

— Office of R.K. Singh (@OfficeOfRKSingh) November 1, 2017
9. An NDRF team was dispatched to the explosion site from Lucknow for relief and rescue operations. (Read more here)

10. At around 3:30 pm on Wednesday, there was a loud abnormal sound at the elevation of 20 metres and there was an opening through which hot flue of gases and steam escaped affecting the people working around the area, NTPC said in a statement. 

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