Report on fire accident at M/s Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL), Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, 06/07/2020

  • 06/07/2020

Report by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on fire accident at M/s Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL), Thermal Power Station-II, Ammeri Village, Virudhachalam Taluk, Neyveli, Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu. The TNPCB report is dated July 6, 2020.

On July 1, 2020 the Chief General Manager of TPS-II, NLCIL furnished incident report to TNPCB informing that a fire accident had occurred when unit-5 of TPS-II of capacity 210 MW was taken up for maintenance and 17 persons were affected with burn injuries and six workers lost their lives.

A joint inspection by JCEE (M)/ Trichy Zone and DEE/Cuddalore on July 3, 2020 was done. NLCIL officials told the inspection team that the cleaning of lignite dust deposition inside the horizontal box grider might have been done with the help of metal scrappers and due to friction the lignite particles got ignited and due to combustion within the girder, the workers who were inside suffered from suffocation.

The industry had stopped the operations of the four boiler units 4,5,6 and 7 after the fire accident. Because of this fire accident, no toxic gases were evolved and no damage was caused to the public. An AAQ survey was conducted in the vicinity of the industry by AEL, TNPCB, Cuddalore from July 3-4, 2020 and the report is awaited. Deputy Director of Boilers, Neyveli in his letter addressed to the Director of Boilers reported that "the accident occurred due to the combustion which took place in the structural parts while cleaning."

The TNPCB also informed the Tribunal that after the gas leak incident by an industrial unit at Visakhapatnam, TNPCB has been sensitising the industries in the state of Tamil Nadu, which were under shutdown due to COVID-19, to follow instructions related to maintenance of safety, pollution control equipments and others before resuming their operations.