In less than 24 hours of the Vizag gas leak, which left 11 dead, a blast occurred in a Neyveli Lignite Corporation, also known as NLC India, unit in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. V Anbuselvan, collector of Cuddalore district said a boiler blast occurred at the thermal 2 of the plant at 5 pm on Thursday. The blast led to a fire in which eight people were injured.
Two injured were regular employees and six contract employees. All of them were taken to Kauvery Hospital in Trichy for treatment. Three of them are critical. The unit was operational during the lockdown but running at a lower capacity because of less demand.
NCL is a 'Navratna' company involved in fossil fuel mining sector.
Earlier on Thursday, the gas leak in the LG Polymers plant on the outskirts of Vizag had brought plant maintenance issues into sharp focus. Andhra Pradesh state government officials looked at way to contain the problem, including procuring "polymerisation inhibitors" from Vapi in Gujarat to stop emission of the gas. It is being debated that the valve in the unit burst open due to auto-polymerisation, a chemical reaction that happens when styrene liquid is stored for a long time.
A special committee set up by the state government is investigating the matter. The committee consisted of special chief secretary of Environment and Forests, Pollution Control Board secretary, district collector and the city commissioner of police.