Even as the death toll in the massive explosion in NTPC's Unchahar plant in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district today rose to 26, survivors' account reveal the intensity of the blast.
"We were 80-90 metres away. The boiler started shaking and then there was a blast...gas exploded. Many fell unconscious," a survivor told NDTV.
While NTPC has initiated a probe into the blast, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured.
PTI reported that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has taken a break from his ongoing 'Navsarjan Yatra' in poll-bound Gujarat and is visiting Rae Bareli, which is the constituency of his mother Sonia Gandhi.
He is expected to meet the family of the victims of the blast.
The PTI report said that Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock at the "terrible tragedy".
Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi has Rs. 50,000 each for those injured and ex- gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for next of kin of those who have lost their lives.
While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is abroad, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma will be visiting Rae Bareli today, reported PTI.
UP Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar told reporters in Lucknow that the toll in the NTPC boiler blast has risen to 26.
In a statement, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has said that at unit number six of its Unchahar plant, there was a sudden abnormal sound at 20-meter elevation around 3:30 yesterday afternoon.
There was an opening in corner number two from which gases and steam "escaped" affecting the people working around the area, the central public sector undertaking said.
It added that around 80 people were rushed to the NTPC Hospital, most of whom were discharged after first-aid.
The 1,550-MW plant supplies electricity to nine states, according to officials, and employs around 870 people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that he was "deeply pained" by the accident at the power plant.
Union Power Minister R K Singh, through social media posts, expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives and said that he had directed NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh to rush to the site.
(with PTI inputs)