Rescuers with sniffer dogs are this morning still searching for three people missing in the rubble of Didcot Power Station in the UK.
The boiler hall of the decommissioned coal-fired power plant in Oxfordshire collapsed at around 4pm yesterday, killing one person, hospitalizing another five and leaving 50 more needing treatment at the scene for dust inhalation.
Drone aircraft with thermal imaging devices are also being used to try to locate the missing people, who are believed to be trapped in a pile of rubble up to 30 feet high which includes up to 12,000 tonnes of metal.
The plant is owned by RWE npower and the accident happened while demolition work was being carried out by an external contractor, Coleman and Co.
In a statement last night, RWE npower said: “We can confirm that shortly after 4pm this afternoon part of the boiler house at our former Didcot A Power Station site in Oxfordshire collapsed while an external demolition contractor was working in it.
“It is with great sadness that we understand that there has been one fatality, four people have been taken to hospital and three people are currently missing and unaccounted for. Our thoughts are with the families of all those involved in this tragedy. We will provide updates as we receive them. We are working with the emergency services who are currently on site to understand the cause of this collapse.”
Didcot A coal plant was decommissioned in 2013 after being in service for 43 years and since then demolition work has been ongoing. A gas-fired plant – Didcot B – opened on the same site in 1997 and remains operational.