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25
February
2016
|
17:43
Europe/London

Major Incident at Didcot Power Station

  • Major incident with emergency services on site
  • One fatality and three people missing; search continues though 'high unlikely' they will be found alive
  • Five people injured are either stable or have been discharged from hospital
  • Military are providing support and equipment for the search

 

Update 15:10 (26 February)

Over the weekend the multi-agency operation will continue at Didcot A Power Station. We continue to work with structural engineers and demolition experts.

The partially collapsed building remains unstable making this a complex operation. The priority remains to return the missing people to their families whilst ensuring the safety of all those on site. Local residents of Didcot may wish to consider keeping their doors and windows closed to avoid dust should there be any further collapse of the building.

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Nathan Travis, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Services said: “We continue to work with Thames Valley Police to keep families informed of our progress on the site. This will continue through the weekend. Our priority remains to recover those missing. The site remains extremely unstable and so the safety of the teams working on site has to be our first consideration.

“We are working very closely with structural experts on the site. We continue to anticipate that this exercise will be prolonged and difficult. We extend our deepest sympathies to the man who has died and our thoughts remain with the families of those missing.

“I would like to reassure the public there were no hazardous materials within the building.”

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable, Scott Chilton, said: “I cannot imagine what this must be like for the families of the three missing people. The police are continuing to do everything we can to recover their loved ones and will continue to support the family during this terrible time.”

South Central Ambulance Service remains on site to deal with any recovered casualties.

Update 16:33 (25 February)

The multi-agency operation continues at Didcot A Power Station following the partial collapse of a building on Tuesday (23/2).

The emergency services continue to provide support to the families of the three missing people and the family of the person who tragically died during the incident.  The services remain committed to return the missing people to their families.

This is a dynamic operation with the response of the emergency services reviewed regularly.  Specialist heavy lifting and engineering equipment is being brought in as the operation moves forward. 

Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Services, said: “We are working with Thames Valley Police to keep families informed of our progress on the site.  Our priority remains to recover those missing but the site remains extremely unstable – both the collapsed structure and the remaining building which has already been primed and cut for demolition.  It is likely that a further collapse is possible and so the safety of the teams working on site has to be our first consideration. 

“We are continuing to work closely with structural engineers and demolition experts to establish a safe way of working on the site.  We anticipate that this exercise will be prolonged and difficult.  We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the man who has died and our thoughts remain with the families of those missing.”

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton, said:  “Our thoughts remain with the families involved and we continue to provide support to those of the three missing people and that of the man who tragically died. 

“We are continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive and all the emergency services to understand the cause of this incident.”

South Central Ambulance Service remains on site to deal with any recovered casualties. 

Update 10:30 (25 February)

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is continuing to work with Thames Valley Police and partner agencies at Didcot Power Station to return loved ones to families.

Officers have been liaising with structural engineers, demolition experts, ‎urban search and rescue specialists and local authority Building Control Officers. 

Heavy engineering, cranes and lifting equipment is needed and this will arrive on the site today. 

All parties continue to closely monitor the safety and structure of the remaining building on the site.

Firefighters are working under the joint guidance of Thames Valley Police and the Health and Safety Executive to ensure operations assist them in identifying the ‎exact cause of this collapse. 

Chief Fire Officer David Etheridge said: “Our priorities are to support the families and to ensure the safety of everyone on site working around the clock to resolve this incident. 

“We are working with Thames Valley Police to keep families informed of our progress on the site.”

 

Update 18:42 (24 February 2016)

Following the partial building collapse of Didcot A Power Station yesterday (23/2), we can now confirm that the families of the three missing people have visited the site, supported by Family Liaison Officers from Thames Valley Police.

The families had the opportunity to speak to Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service about the search operation.

Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We remain committed and determined to return the missing people to their families, and work continues overnight.

“We are working with structural engineers and demolition experts to establish a safe way of working on site. In addition the military is supporting the search for the missing people. They will be using a mini remote control vehicle to assist with the search for survivors at the site.

This provides us with enhanced capability and their equipment and expertise will be invaluable.”

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “We are continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive and all the emergency services to understand the cause of this incident.”

South Central Ambulance Service remains on site to deal with any recovered casualties.

South Oxfordshire District Council Environmental Health has confirmed there are no air quality issues associated with the dust cloud that formed yesterday.

Update 17:16 (24 February 2016)

  • District Environmental health officers have liased with teams on site and concluded there are no air quality issues.

     

Update 17.15 (24 February 2016)

Statement from Oxford University Hospitals NHS re conditions of people taken to hospital following the Didcot incident:  Andrew Stevens, Director of Planning and Information at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: 'We can confirm that of the five patients brought to the John Radcliffe Hospital as a result of the major incident at Didcot on Tuesday, 23 February, one patient was discharged last night, and three further patients will be discharged today. One other patient remains with us in a stable condition.'      
For full statement click here 

 

Update 14:36 (24 February 2016)

Update from Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

“We have just spoken with the police to the families who are obviously distraught.

“We have explained that we have not picked up any signs of life from our listening devices.

“But we are doing everything we can to locate their loved ones, regardless of whether they are still alive or not.

“The extent of this incident, the nature of the collapse and the location where the missing people were working means that it is highly unlikely the three missing people are still alive. We have tried the construction site radios and had no response and we see this as significant.

“The rescue teams are working through the debris, with their safety being my first consideration. However everything we are doing remains consistent with a rescue operation.

“The rescue teams are working under very difficult circumstances, with a structure that is unsafe and with unstable piles of materials from the collapsed building.

“We are currently using sniffer dogs, listening devices, drones and we are looking at the possibility of using remote controlled probes to access dangerous parts of the site. This enables us to cover areas that are too risky for rescue teams to go themselves.

“We have called on our colleagues in Cheshire Fire & Rescue, Merseyside Fire & Rescue and the demolition company which supported Cheshire Fire & Rescue that supported the search following the fire at Bosley Mill fire last year to share any learnings from that incident.

“I am very grateful for all their professional help and advice we have received from other places.

“Progress has been slow, but we are making progress working through the debris. We anticipate that this exercise is going to be prolonged and difficult. People need to be prepared for this operation taking several days, possibly several weeks.

“I have given a personal undertaking to the families that we will do everything we can to recover their loved ones, and that is what we are trying to do. My heart goes out to them as they wait for news.”

Update 09:51 (24 February 2016)

Statement from Oxfordshire Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Furlong

“We've had no significant signs [of life], but that doesn't mean to say there isn't saveable lives still within the building.”

Update 7.00am (24 February 2016)

Simon Furlong, assistant chef fire officer, said at the scene:

“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.”

Update: 6.35am (24 February 2016)

The emergency services have reported no change overnight – they are still looking for missing people with sniffer dogs and search equipment, including two drones. We will be updating on progress over the course of the morning.

Update 6.30am  (24 February 2016)

This is current condition report from the John Radcliffe hopsital, which has not changed since last night:

"Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust can confirm it is currently treating five men for injuries at the John Radcliffe Hospital following a major incident at Didcot Power Station. 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."


Updates from Tuesday 23rd February

Update: 11pm (23 February 2016)

Nathan Travis, deputy chief fire officer, said from the scene:

“Emergency crews are continuing on site overnight and there will be further assessments in the morning. This is a difficult situation due to the instability of the structure and the safety of emergency personnel is our biggest consideration.

We have been given support from crews from Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and West Midlands.

My thoughts are with the families of the missing people who have been waiting all night for news who I know will be desperately worried.”

Update: 8.40pm

(corrected 22.09 - figure in bold revised)

Statement from Nathan Travis, deputy chief fire officer, at the scene:

"A major incident has been declared at Didcot Power Station following the partial collapse of a building.

There was a partial collapse of a large building, which is approximately 300m long and ten storeys high. The building was due to be demolished in the coming months.

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

Sadly, one person has been confirmed to have died during the incident.

Meanwhile, five people have been taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford; two with serious injuries, two with minor injuries.

There are three people reported missing on site at this time.

More than 47 people were treated at the scene for dust inhalation, and have since been discharged.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and will conduct an investigation, which will be supported by Thames Valley Police.

There is currently a 100m cordon in place, however there are no public road closures at this time.

The search will be a considerable undertaking 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 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, 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 being treated as a terrorist incident.”

Update: 8.30pm

Statement from Cllr Rodney Rose, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council

"My thoughts are with families with a loved one who has died or is still missing. Thanks to all the emergency services who are still trying to find people in the building."

Update: 7.40pm

NHS organisations are working together to support the response to the major incident at Didcot Power Station. A spokesman for NHS England said Casualties were being taken to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and support is being offered to South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust emergency responders by NHS England South.

Update: 7pm

At 4.04 PM Thames Valley Fire Control Service received a call to a building collapse at Didcot Power Station.

Five fire engines along with support vehicles including: Specialist Rescue and Command Support Units, and Urban Search and Rescue Units from Buckinghamshire have been mobilised along with extensive resources from Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service.

Emergency responders from all three services were quickly in attendance and secured the scene.

Dust from the collapse covered a considerable area and we can confirm that there were no hazardous materials within the building; residents are advised to remain inside keeping doors and windows closed.

Area Manager Mat Carlile who is on scene said: “I can confirm search operations are in progress and that there has been one fatality, five persons have been taken to hospital and 3 persons are currently missing.

Update: 5.15pm

Officers are at Didcot Power Station at an incident with other emergency services.

View images from Didcot

 

Didcot Power Station Major Incident 23 Feb 2016

 

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