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Didcot boiler house incident kills one

Accident tape 2by3

A person has died after the partial collapse of a 10-storey building at a disused power station in Oxfordshire yesterday.

Energy firm Npower said part of the boiler house at Didcot A Power Station collapsed at about 4pm on Tuesday 23 February.

Birmingham-based Coleman Group has been working with Npower since 2012 on proposals to demolish Didcot A, a dual-fired power station that opened in 1970 and closed in 2013.

Emergency services said the building involved in yesterday’s incident was about 300m long and due to be demolished “in the coming months”.

As well as the confirmed death, five people have been taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. More than 40 people were treated at the scene for dust inhalation.

There were three people reported missing on site as of yesterday evening.

An investigation into the incident was launched by the Health and Safety Executive, which will be supported by Thames Valley Police.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief fire officer Simon Furlong said at the scene this morning: “The remainder of the building is very unsafe which is hampering search. This is a very difficult situation with a very unstable structure.

“The safety of emergency service personnel has to remain our priority, while recognising how hard this must be for families waiting for news of loved ones overnight. Our sympathies are with them, and the family of the person who died here yesterday.

“An expert from Cheshire with similar experience is due on site today to advise on the search.

“The police will be taking over control of the site as part of ongoing investigation but we are continuing working with fire services from Bucks, Hants and West Midlands, and this work may continue for several days.”

Npower and Coleman Group said in a joint statement yesterday: “Our thoughts are with the families of all those involved in this tragedy. We will provide updates as we receive them.

“We are working with the emergency services who are currently on site to understand the cause of this collapse.”


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