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NTPC explosion: Rahul Gandhi meets victims’ families

SNS | New Delhi |

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met the families of the victims of the NTPC explosion that left at least 26 people dead and over 100 injured. He also visited the site of the tragedy.

The Gandhi scion took a break from election campaigning in poll bound Gujarat to visit Rae Bareli — the parliamentary constituency of his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

He will resume the campaigning in Gujarat later in the day.

“Due to the unfortunate NTPC accident, I will visit Rae Bareli tomorrow morning. Will join Gujarat Navsarjan Yatra in the afternoon,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Sonia Gandhi, who would not be able to visit her constituency due to ill health had on Wednesday expressed shock and horror at the tragedy and asked party workers to help in the relief operations.

The death toll in the boiler explosion at a unit of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) may rise further as many of the injured are in critical condition, officials said.

Many of the injured are in critical condition with scalded body parts caused by hot ash and steam. They have been admitted to government medical facilities at Allahabad and at the Lucknow trauma centre.

NTPC officials said that the number of casualties could go up once the blades of the boiler are cut and the team of experts is able to go inside. NTPC has ordered a probe into the blast.

More than 50 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire and 100 ambulances, private and government, helped ferry the injured to medical facilities.

Officials said the explosion took place in the boiler, which creates steam which moves the turbines and generates electricity. The explosion was caused by the ash which got deposited on the furnace and triggered a massive blast.