Neyveli boiler blast exposes safety issues, 6 killed, 17 injured

Six workers were killed and 17 injured — 11 of them critically — after a boiler exploded in Unit V of the thermal power station-II of the NLC India Ltd. (NLCIL) in Neyveli on Wednesday.

This was the second accident at the power station in less than two months. Employees said this has once again exposed safety issues.

The blast took place at a power plant of the central government-owned NLC India Limited (formerly known as Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited) in Cuddalore, about 180 km from state capital Chennai. This is the second blast at the power plant in two months.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he spoke to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. “Anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to a blast at Neyveli power plant boiler in Tamil Nadu. Have spoken to  @CMOTamilNadu and assured all possible help. @CISFHQrs is already on the spot to assist the relief work. Praying for the earliest recovery of those injured,” he posted.

The injured, including one executive, three junior engineers, two technicians and remaining workers, were referred to a private hospital in Chennai for further treatment.

The management has placed the head of the unit under suspension pending enquiry. This is the second serious mishap in two months in a unit of TPS II involving a boiler. The earlier accident took place in May 7 killing five contract workers. A departmental inquiry ordered into the incident is still on.

Condoling the deaths, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced a relief of Rs 3 lakh for families of those who died, Rs 1 lakh for the severely injured and  Rs 50,000 for those with less severe injuries.