In Mobile Video Of NTPC Power Plant Blast, Engineers Shout In Fear

NTPC Boiler Blast: The National Human Rights Commission has called for an inquiry into whether negligence caused the explosion; it has asked the Yogi Adityanath government to give a detailed report within six weeks.

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In Mobile Video Of NTPC Power Plant Blast, Engineers Shout In Fear

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A boiler blast at the NTPC plant in Raebareli killed 32 and left scores injured on Wednesday.

Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh: 

Highlights

  1. Video shows steam gushing towards workers
  2. Extreme high pressure built up in boiler led to explosion: NTPC
  3. Blast at Raebareli plant killed 32, nearly 100 were injured with burns
Flames, smoke and hissing steam can be seen in dramatic footage shot on mobile phones inside the unit at state-run NTPC's power plant in Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, where a boiler blast killed 32 and left many injured on Wednesday.

Just after the explosion, flames leapt up and pressurized steam gushed out just where dozens of workers were standing, perhaps killing or at least blinding them instantly. Thick fumes filled the unit, making it difficult to see. On the video, engineers can be heard shouting in fear.

Around 100 workers suffered burns and 20 of them are said to be in a very critical condition. Some survivors have spoken of a rattling in the unit and then intense heat "that could melt human flesh".

NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) officials have said that "extremely high pressure" built up in the boiler furnace because of ash collecting in its outlet, producing a disaster.
 
ntpc plant blast

The 1,550-megawatt NTPC power plant in Raebareli, with six power generating units, supplies power to six states. 

"There was no explosion in the boiler, it happened outside the boiler. We were aware of an ongoing problem and that's why the generation capacity of the plant was reduced on that day," admitted RS Rathee, the regional executive director of NTPC on Thursday evening.

Questions have been raised about whether, having been aware of a problem, NTPC should have shut down the unit to prevent the deadly explosion.

Mr Rathee clarified: "We only shut down a plant or a unit when we feel we cannot repair it during ongoing operations. We have a central control room in Delhi and we were sending out all parameters there too."

The 1,550-megawatt plant, with six power generating units, supplies power to six states.

Reports that a safety valve failed to work have not been confirmed so far. It is also being investigated whether alarm systems were working, to give enough time for workers to be evacuated. 

Speaking to reporters, NTPC chairman Gurdeep Singh called the explosion "the rarest kind of incident". He said the people maintaining the unit were the most experienced.

"It will take nearly three to six months to make the unit functional again," Mr Singh told reporters.

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