Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will take a break from his ongoing 'Navsarjan Yatra' in poll-bound Gujarat to visit Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday to meet the families of victims of a massive explosion at an NTPC power plant.
Over 20 people were killed in the NTPC blast. PTI
At least 20 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a massive explosion ripped a boiler at the state-run power giant NTPC's Unchahar plant.
"Due to the unfortunate NTPC accident, I will visit Raebareli on Thursday morning. Will join Gujarat Navsarjan Yatra in the afternoon," the Congress leader tweeted.
Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday began his three-day campaign tour of south Gujarat, where Assembly poll will be held in December.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who represents Raebareli in the Lok Sabha, in her condolence message said she wanted to be with the families of the victims to share their pain in this hour of grief, but could not do so due to her indisposition.
The NTPC initiated a probe to ascertain the reasons behind the blast, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured.
Among those injured are three additional general managers of the NTPC plant, who are undergoing treatment in Lucknow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "deeply pained" by the accident at the power plant and added that the situation was being closely monitored.
ADG Kumar said that all available ambulances were pressed into service, and the additional district magistrate and the additional superintendent of police were on the spot to supervise relief and rescue operations.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on a three-day official visit to Mauritius, ordered that necessary steps be taken for rescue and relief.
The chief minister has taken cognisance of the Unchahar accident and has directed the principal secretary (home) to ensure that all steps were taken for rescue and relief, principal secretary (information) Awanish Awasthi, who is accompanying Adityanath, said.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was also despatched to the explosion site from the state capital for relief and rescue operations, an official said.
The explosion triggered panic among the employees who ran helter-skelter. Such explosions can generate searing heat, an official said.
An injured employee undergoing treatment at a hospital said that a sudden gush of hot gas with contents of ash-like material engulfed him at the NTPC plant.
The man said he was unable to understand what had happened and found himself on a hospital bed with his body scalded all over, when he regained consciousness.
The plant area was cordoned off by the police to facilitate smooth running of ambulances. Two companies of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been sent to the plant as reinforcement.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Nov 02, 2017 15:35 PM