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Casualties feared in UK coal power station explosion

A major incident has been declared at the decommissioned Didcot coal-fired power plant in Oxfordshire, England.

According to initial reports one person has died and several casualties have occurred at the site of the Didcot A plant, which was taken offline in 2013. The explosion took place in the main turbine hall. Later in the evening three people were reported to be missing and five seriously injured.
Didcot A explosion aftermath image from SKY
Plant owners RWE Npower issued a press release at 19.45, stating, “There has been an incident at our former Didcot A Power Station site in Oxfordshire. The site is currently being demolished. We are working with our contractors Coleman and Company to establish the facts and will keep you updated as soon as we have more information.”

Video footage released shows half of the old plant to be missing and locals reported a loud explosion at around 4pm followed by a dust cloud which encroached into the surrounding village.

The plant is in line for demolition, according to RWE nPower but at the moment it is unclear if the incident occurred during the demolition process. The Oxford Mail reported that the plant is due for demolition but no activity was believed to be scheduled for today.

Mark Coleman of Coleman and Co – the firm behind the planned demolition of the remaining Didcot Power Station buildings released an image last week of preparatory work being done at the plant.

There was a huge fire at the site of Didcot B in 2014 due to an electrical fault. Three enormous cooling towers at the disused Didcot A Power Station were demolished at the site in 2013. Didcot A opened in 1970 as a coal-fired power station and was later converted so it could also generate power from natural gas.