NEW DELHI, Nov. 6 – The death toll in a boiler explosion at a government-run coal-fired power plant in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh state has risen to 35, officials said Monday.
“With more people succumbing to their burn injuries during treatment at various hospitals in Uttar Pradesh and the national capital in the past three to four days, the death toll now stands at 35,” a government official said.
“More than 80 injured others are still undergoing treatment at various hospitals. The condition of some are still critical,” he said.
The blast occurred at the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant at Unchahar town, some 110 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, last Wednesday, killing on the spot over 20 workers.
The plant is almost 30 years old, but the boiler pipe burst took place in the 500 MW power generating unit that started operating in March. The boiler that had exploded was actually on a trial run and nearly 200 workers were on duty at the time.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that NTPC engineers clearly knew of the problem in the power-generating unit and were actually working to fix it, but still they did not shut down the plant that could have possibly averted the accident.
Coal-fired power plants form the backbone of electricity generation in India, but experts say many of these plants are due for overhaul.
(Copyright Xinhua, obtained through National News Agency)