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Indian power plant explosion claims 26 lives

India – The death toll from an explosion at a thermal power plant in northern India has climbed to 26, with 100s injured officials said Thursday (Nov 2).

The injuries occurred when an explosion spewed hot ash over workers at the plant, said the area’s top administrative officer.

The death toll could rise as many people have been hospitalized with severe burns after a pipe carrying ash from the burning coal exploded late Wednesday in the newly installed boiler at the power plant in Unchahar in Uttar Pradesh state, the plant supplies electricity to nine states. The 500-megawatt unit was operating on a trial basis.

The cause of the accident wasn’t immediately known. It also wasn’t clear how many workers were in the plant at the time. Witnesses described a massive explosion and thick smoke rising from the plant.

Rescue work ended Thursday and the National Thermal Power Corporation, which runs the plant, ordered an investigation.

A senior official said the state government has offered cash compensation of 200,000 rupees to the families of the deceased, 50,000 rupees for the severely injured and half of that to those who sustained minor injuries.

Industrial accidents are not unusual in India, where safety measures are often flouted.

 

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<p>Asia Pacific Fire, Editor</p>

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