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Didcot | Police plan body recovery

Didcot A power station incident

Emergency services are working on a plan to recover three bodies from the “highly unstable” site of last week’s partial building collapse at Didcot A Power Station.

Thames Valley Police yesterday said the families of the missing people had returned home.

Another person, 53-year-old Michael Collings, is known to have died at the power station when part of the 10-storey boiler house collapsed on Tuesday 23 February.

Collings worked for Birmingham-based Coleman Group, which has been working with energy firm RWE Npower on proposals to demolish Didcot A.

Assistant chief constable Scott Chilton said yesterday: “The recovery of the bodies and site investigation will be a very complex operation and I envisage it will be many, many weeks before it is completed.

“I know that this makes it particularly difficult for the families involved, as they await the recovery of their loved ones. Our priority remains to return them to their families and we continue to support the families as needed.”

Coleman Group said in a statement: “Nothing can prepare you for, nor are there words to express, our devastation at the events of the last week. All our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have died and are still, tragically, missing.

“At this time, our over-riding priority is to support those families affected by this terrible incident. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the rescue and emergency services who rushed to the scene and brought with them world-class expertise in facing this unprecedented and hugely-challenging environment.

“The overwhelming support we have received from people who work for and with us – and above all from our client RWE – has been extraordinary. It has touched us deeply and we are extremely grateful for all the kind words and offers of practical help we have received.”

RWE Npower said in a statement: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the families of those who have died in this terrible tragedy, and it is our sincerest hope that those who had to spend time in hospital have a quick and complete recovery.

“The health and safety of people is always our priority. We don’t yet know how the collapse happened and nor will we speculate.”

Didcot A in Oxfordshire is a dual-fired power station that opened in 1970 and closed in 2013.

Emergency services are working with the Health and Safety Executive to establish the cause of last week’s incident.

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