15 suffer burns in fire at KPCL Yelahanka power plant

A view of the KPCL’s power plant at Yelahanka.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

As many as 15 employees suffered burns in a fire that broke out at the combined cycle power plant at Yelahanka early on Friday. Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. officials confirmed that they were preparing to commission the long-pending plant. Initial investigations revealed that leakage of CNG led to the accident, but experts are investigating to ascertain the exact cause.

According to fire department officials, the accidental fire broke out at the plant around 3 a.m., when employees, belonging to KPCL, BHEL, and GE, were working there. They were injured and shifted to hospital before the fire and emergency services were alerted.

It took four fire tenders one hour to bring the fire under control.

A member of the Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake and Bird Conservation Trust and resident of the area, requesting anonymity, said there were activities in the plant since four or five days.

The fire and emergency services alleged that KPCL officials had not obtained the no-objection certificate (NOC) to carry out such an exercise. However, V. Ponnuraj, managing director, KPCL told The Hindu that the plant was being commissioned at the time of the accident. “The cause [of the fire] will be known only when we get a root cause analysis by BHEL GE. The plant was to be commissioned today or tomorrow,” he said.

When asked about allegations on NOC, he said, “There is no NOC required from the fire department. To be on the safe side, a month ago, we wanted to follow the guidelines and approached the fire department. We also wanted to know if we needed any approvals. They said we didn't need anything except fire protection systems, which we had.”

Police take up case

The Yelahanka police have taken up a case based on the complaint by a KPCL officer in charge on Friday. A police team, which visited the site to take stock of the situation, said that there was no blast.

“It was an accidental fire. A team of technical experts was doing a pre-run of the combined cycle power plant. The fire was noticed in the gas turbine following which the inbuilt fire alarm was triggered. However, the fire triggered oil leakage near the machinery,” said an officer.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 7:27:56 AM |

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