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    DIDCOT COLLAPSE: UPDATE ON RECOVERY OPERATIONS

    Families express concern at delay and lack of hope from authorities

    It has been widely reported that relatives of the three missing workmen have criticised delay on the part of the authorities in finding those missing under the rubble of the collapsed Didcot disused power station.

    The partner of one of the trapped men says she believes they are still alive but have been “abandoned” by the authorities. Jade Ali told Wales Online:

    “They have given up hope and they have no right to. They are acting like they are already dead and they are telling us nothing. They have abandoned Christopher and they have abandoned us. It’s disgusting.”

    Two of the trapped men have now been named by their families as Ken Cresswell and Chris Huxtable. John Howley, Cresswell’s uncle told the Press Association:

    “It is just the uncertainty – you are hoping that they are still alive in there, but you have got to be realistic and think that it has been going on too long now. It just seems they are dragging their heels. If demolishing the rest of the building is the only way they are going to get at them then they need to get on with it.”

    Mathew Mowat, a Supervisor told the press it was a miracle there were not more men trapped:

    “There are quite a few people feeling blessed, including myself – and then feeling guilty and frustrated on not being able to get our friends out and sent home. We all need closure on it, the guys and the families. We need to move forward and get them out.”

    HSE must balance recover and ongoing safety

    A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said:

    “We fully understand the anguish the families of the three missing workers will be experiencing. The priority of the multi-agency response remains the recovery of the bodies to their families.”

    Given the risks, scale and complexity of the incident and that the building collapsed without warning, emergency services have had to strike a very difficult balance between helping those trapped and injured, recovering the bodies and the need to avoid further harm on the site.

    HSE continues to support the recovery operation with advice from its independent experts who have visited the site and studied information provided by the site owners and on the way the demolition contractors were carrying out their work when the building collapsed.

    Discussions with the site owners and the demolition contractors on proposals for ensuring risks at the site are effectively managed and controlled are ongoing.”

     

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