Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

February 24, 2016

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Didcot Power Station collapse: One dead and three missing

A Health and Safety Executive investigation has been launched following an explosion and building collapse at Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire. It is reported that one person has died, five are being treated for injuries and three are still missing, following the blast at 16:00 GMT yesterday evening (Tuesday). More than 40 people were treated for smoke inhalation.

A major search operation is now under way to find the three people still missing. Rescuers using sniffer dogs have been at the Didcot A Power Station site since a major incident was declared.

The BBC has reported that a rubble pile up to 30ft in height is being searched by specialist teams.

Thames Valley Fire Control Service said the collapse was a “very severe incident”.

The five people needing hospital treatment, were taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. A spokesman for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Four of the men are in a stable and non-life threatening condition, while one man is in a serious but not life-threatening condition.”

Emergency crews said two drone aircraft were also being used in the search at the site, where a 100m cordon is in place.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has command of the incident, supported by South Central Ambulance Service and Thames Valley Police.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Nathan Travis said: “It is with great sadness that I have to confirm one person has died during this incident. Our priority now is to find the three missing people.

“The search will be a considerable undertaken due to the instability of the site. We expect the search will continue through the night and possibly into the coming days.

“There is Specialist Rescue and Command Support Units, and Urban Search and Rescue Units from Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, and West Midlands at the scene, including search dogs. The fire service is being supported by South Central Ambulance Service and Thames Valley Police.

“Dust from the collapse covered a considerable area but I would like to reassure the public there were no hazardous materials within the building, but we would advise local residents to remain inside, keeping doors and windows closed.

“Anyone concerned about dust inhalation should call NHS on 111.

“I would like to confirm that this is not believed to be a terrorist incident.”

A joint statement by the emergency services said the building, which is 300m-long and 10-storeys high, was due to be demolished in the coming weeks.

Adrian Redhead, who lives about a quarter of a mile away, said he had just got home from work on Tuesday afternoon when he heard a “massive noise”.

He said: “It sounded like a train had come off the rails. Sirens were all over the place. I looked outside and saw all the dust. There were loads of emergency vehicles. A load of dust came over the house.”

The following number has been set up for concerned relatives 0121 3252424.

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8 years ago

My sympathies go out to the families of those killed and injured in this tragic incident. I would imagine the dust, likely to be laden with asbestos – as most buildings of this type and era would have been fitted, insulation, many fire protective materials, asbestos being one element. It maybe luck that before the collapse it was ‘Remediated’ and a clean bill given to the building prior to it’s planned Demolition… one wonders. The same was apparent with the Trade Centre buildings collapse – and the expectant likely asbestos related illness popping up in 20/30 years time. For a… Read more »

Jonathan Scopes
Jonathan Scopes
8 years ago

First, prayers for the dead, missing, injured, their colleagues, families and friends along with the emergency services.

Your article says that the building “was due to be demolished in the coming weeks”. Had it been structurally weakened in preparation for its demolition?

Your article says “no hazardous materials within the building”. Does this include no asbestos? The asbestos management plan for a 1970s power station would have been a considerable undertaking?