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    DIDCOT: SEARCH FOR DECEASED WORKERS RESUMES

    Explosive demolition of unstable structure recorded on video

    Specialist contractor Alford Techologies working for RWE has demolished the remaining structure at the former Didcot A Power Station site in Oxfordshire where four workers lost their lives on 23 February 2015.

    The bodies of Ken Cresswell, aged 57, and John Shaw, aged 61, and Chris Huxtable, aged 34, remain trapped under rubble following the fatal incident in February. The body of the fourth workman, Michael Collings aged 53, has already been recovered.

    The remaining structure presented a risk to those undertaking recovery of the deceased. Search efforts for three men have now resumed now that the  remainder of the boiler house has been demolished.

    Work went as planned

    Site owner RWE Npower told the BBC that the demolition had “gone as planned” and all of the structure was brought down. A spokesman said:

    “Now the building has been brought down, an inspection has confirmed the area and debris pile are safe and our contractors have resumed the recovery operation. We will continue working seven days a week, 12 hours a day to help return these families’ loved ones to them as soon as possible.”

    The firm added it understood the time it was taking to recover the bodies had been “deeply upsetting” for their families. The BBC spoke to one family member who said they “just wanted everything to go to plan today and they would quickly get to the men”.

    Roland Alford, the explosives contractor at the power station, said the four-month delay in completing the demolition was necessary on safety grounds. He added:

    “It was almost unthinkable to send people to work underneath there and place charges, given the fact the building could come down at any moment – you legally can’t justify that.”

     

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