At least six were killed and 16 workers were injured when a boiler exploded at the NLC India’s Neyveli thermal plant in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district on Wednesday, an official said, adding that many others are feared trapped.
This is the second explosion the plant has witnessed within two months.
The mishap occurred at the fifth unit of the thermal power station-II (210 MW x 7) when workers were in the process of resuming operations this morning.
All the injured were reportedly rushed to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai.
“The boiler was not in operation. We are investigating the incident,” R Vikraman, one of the directors of the power plant, was quoted as saying by NDTV. “Among the sixteen injured, six are regular employees and 10 are contract workers. We are collecting details of those who died,” he added.
The boiler is 84-metre high and when the accident occurred, the workers and technicians were at a height of about 32 meters, an NLC India official was quoted as saying by The Wire.
The fire has been brought under control by the fire wing of CISF Unit of NLCIL, the company said.
Eight workers from the same power plant had suffered burn injuries in a similar incident in May. The workers, who were injured in the boiler blast, included both regular and contractual employees, reported NDTV.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that he has spoken to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and assured help.
“Anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to a blast at Neyveli power plant boiler in Tamil Nadu. Have spoken to Chief Minister Office of TamilNadu (CMO) and assured all possible help. CISF is already on the spot to assist the relief work. Praying for the earliest recovery of those injured,” he tweeted.
This comes close on the heels of another industrial accident—a gas leak in a Visakhapatnam plant that claimed two lives on Monday. The two deceased and four other injured had reportedly inhaled hydrogen sulphide vapours at a pharmaceutical company’s plant in Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City.
Earlier, 12 persons had died and hundreds were hospitalised following styrene monomer vapour leak at LG Polymers on May 7 in Visakhapatnam as well.
The blast on Wednesday is another addition to the number of several industrial accidents recorded in the country this year—most of which occurring during the lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country.