The death toll in NTPC- Unchahar thermal power plant tragedy has touched 29, according to a company statement, adding that 85 persons were being treated at hospitals in Rai Bareilly and Lucknow.

The boiler blast, which occurred in NTPC-Unchahar unit number six (of 500 MW) on Wednesday, saw a string of reactions on Thursday by political leaders and parties.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Deeply pained by the accident at the NTPC plant in Rae Bareilly. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. The situation is being closely monitored and officials are ensuring normalcy is restored.” Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh announced an ex-gratia compensation of ₹20 lakh to the families of the deceased, ₹10 lakh for the seriously injured and ₹2 lakh to injured during his visit to accident site. Singh also visited the NTPC Station with Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister, Shrikant Sharma.

In a statement, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh to the families of the deceased, ₹50,000 for the grievously injured and ₹25,000 for other injured workers.

Plea for judicial probe Congress Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi, who took a break from his Gujarat election campaign to visit the NTPC power plant in Rae Bareilly, his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi’s constituency, tweeted: “Workers are demanding a judicial inquiry in the incident that has been caused by negligence.”

The Samajwadi Party, the key opposition party in the State, also demanded a probe by a retired high court judge as also government jobs for those affected.

In a statement, the Electricity Employees Federation of India blamed NTPC’s labour policy for the casualties and demanded an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. The federation alleged that the operation and maintenance work of the boiler was being undertaken by contractual employees.