One killed, four injured in a fire at NLC India Ltd. thermal plant

One worker attached to the Industrial Cooperative Service Society (Indcoserve) of NLC India Ltd. (NLCIL) was killed and four others, including an employee, were injured in a fire at Unit II of Neyveli New Thermal Power Station (2×500 MW) at Neyveli in Cuddalore district on Thursday.

The victim was identified as S. Thirunavukarasu, 47, of Veerareddikuppam, in Cuddalore. In the impact, Thirunavukarasu sustained 80% burns and fell and a fracture in his right leg.

Employees of NLC India Limited (NLCIL) wait at the trauma care ward in NLC India Hospital in Neyveli on December 22, 2022.
According to sources, the accident occurred during the lignite burning process in Unit II around 11.30 a.m. The Indcoserve workers – Thirunavukarasu, N. Selvaraj, K. Suresh and D. Senthil Kumar and NLCIL employee R. Dhakshinamoorthy – were at the site when a “fire blow-up” occurred at one of the auxiliary lines of a boiler located at a height of 52 m.

The others sustained 30%-40% burns and were immediately rushed to the NLC India Hospital and were later referred to a private hospital in Chennai. However, Thirunavukarasu died on the way to the hospital.

This is the third accident in the Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) in the last two-and-a-half years. The last two accidents were reported at Thermal Power Station II.

“The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained. We are waiting for the technical report, and an investigation is under way. Power generation has been suspended in Unit II following the accident. However, there will be no impact on overall power generation as other units are functioning as usual,” an NLCIL official said.

Meanwhile, Vriddhachalam Congress MLA R. Radhakrishnan inspected the accident site. Speaking to The Hindu, he said no safety measures had been put in place, and repeated accidents at thermal power facilities in Neyveli was a cause for concern.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said he would write to Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi seeking a thorough inquiry into the repeated accidents at NLCIL.

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