Power plant blast kills at least 26 people

Authorities are investigating the cause of a power plant explosion in India which left at least 26 people dead and injured more than 100 others.

Around 20 survivors with severe burns are fighting for their lives following Wednesday's blast – one of India's worst industrial accidents in years – in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

An inquiry has been launched into the cause of the explosion at the coal-fired plant, which is operated by state-owned energy giant NTPC.

Senior police official Anand Kumar said ash had piled up in the furnace beneath a boiler, which led to a build-up of pressure and resulted in the explosion.

Image:Smoke billows from the coal-fired power plant in the town of Unchahar

Blockages in a gas pipe had also been reported, according to local government official Sanjay Kumar Khatri.

"Hot flue gases and steam let out by the blast severely injured several workers," he said.

Authorities now have seven days to submit the findings of their inquiry into the blast, Mr Khatri added.

Some 200,000 rupees (£2,340) will be offered as compensation to the families of those killed, while 50,000 rupees (£585) will be given to the severely injured and half that amount to people with minor injuries, according to the official.

An NTPC spokesman said the company did not take safety risks and described the explosion as "a sudden accident".

The plant supplies electricity to nine states in India but the company said outages were unlikely because other facilities would make up for the shortfall.


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