The death toll in a boiler explosion at a unit of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district has risen to 26 with over 100 people injured, reports said on Thursday.
Many of the injured are in critical condition with scalded body parts caused by hot ash and steam. They have been admitted to government medical facilities at Allahabad and at the Lucknow trauma centre.
Officials have said that the death toll could climb up as many of the injured are in critical condition.
An NDRF team consisting of 32 personnel has left Lucknow for Unchahar, the site of the accident.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya visited the Civil hospital on Wednesday night to enquire about the injured and directed the doctors to give them the best possible treatment.
NTPC officials said that the number of casualties could go up once the blades of the boiler are cut and the team of experts is able to go inside.
NTPC has ordered a probe into the blast.
More than 50 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire and 100 ambulances, private and government, helped ferry the injured to medical facilities.
Officials said the explosion took place in the boiler, which creates steam which moves the turbines and generates electricity. The explosion was caused by the ash which got deposited on the furnace and triggered a massive blast.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is in Mauritius on a three-day visit, directed Principal Secretary, Home, Arvind Kumar to monitor the situation and brief him regularly.
Condoling the deaths, Yogi has announced ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakh each to the families of those killed, Rs.50,000 each to those seriously injured, and Rs.25,000 each to those with less grave injuries.
Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. She expressed shock and horror at the tragedy and asked party workers to help in the relief operations.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi too expressed sadness and condoled the deaths.