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Death toll from blast at Indian thermal power plant climbs to 26

The death toll from an explosion at a thermal power plant in northern India has climbed to 26, officials said.

At least 60 others were injured when the explosion spewed hot ash over workers at the plant, said Sanjay Khatri, the area's senior administrative officer.

The death toll could rise again as a dozen people are in hospital with severe burns after a pipe carrying ash from burning coal exploded in a newly installed boiler at the plant in Unchahar, Uttar Pradesh state.

The 500-megawatt unit was operating on a trial basis.

Mr Khatri said the cause of the accident is not yet known. It was not clear how many workers were in the plant at the time. Witnesses described a massive explosion and thick smoke rising from the scene.

Rescue work ended on Thursday and the National Thermal Power Corporation, which runs the plant, ordered an investigation.

AP

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