Massive fire at Didcot Power station

A major fire has broken out at Didcot B power station in Oxfordshire.

Local paper the Oxford Mail has tweeted this image of what appears to be a huge inferno.

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Didcot power station fire will no affect power supplies

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "The lights will not go out this winter.

"Up and down the country there are power stations on stand-by that can start pumping out power when needed, and the Government has given National Grid the extra powers it needs to ensure there is enough electricity to keep the lights on.

"There have been some unexpected closures over the past few months and National Grid is buying some extra energy supply to make up for any shortfall.

"The Government will continue to work with National Grid and energy providers to make sure the system remains secure over the coming months."

Affected part of power station will remain closed while investigations and repairs take place

RWE Generation who run Didcot B Power Station have confirmed that the fire broke out in one of the two cooling tower modules

The company says, "The module supplies cooling water to one of the two generating units at Didcot B so 50% of the station output has been affected at this moment in time. RWE power station staff are specifically trained to deal with all emergencies and the coordination plans put in place with local emergency services were put into action swiftly and successfully. The fire was brought under control during the night and RWE would like to thank all three emergency services for their swift and effective action. "

RWE Generation says the "affected part of the power station was immediately and safely shut down and all employees were accounted for.... The second generating module at Didcot B is running normally. The affected part of the site will remain non-operational until an investigation and repairs can take place. It is too early to give any definitive estimate of how long this will be."

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Fire investigators to visit Dicot B Power Station

Fire at Didcot B Power Station Credit: Stephen Shadbolt

Fire investigation officers are due to visit Didcot B Power Station later following a major blaze overnight.

More than 25 fire appliances raced to the Didcot B power station last night as flames ripped through a cooling tower. Firefighters from neighbouring services 30 miles away had to be drafted in and officers remain at the scene this morning.

A spokeswoman at Oxfordshire Fire Service confirmed investigating officers will visit the scene this morning, and said they are likely to remain there throughout the day.

Natural gas powered Didcot B, which opened in 1997, generates up to 1,360 MWe of electricity - enough to power a million homes. Officials have said they are confident the fire will not dent electricity supplies.

Around 12 fire crews attended the facility at around 9pm, but that number doubled as the flames took hold. The fire service said officials at the RWE Npower owned site managed to shut down the site quickly to stop the incident turning into an inferno.

It is not clear how the fire started, but officials have ruled out arson or terrorism.

A spokesman for RWE npower said, "We can confirm that no one is injured which is clearly the most important thing and also that the fire is now under control. Obviously the plant has been shut down."

Fire won't dent electricity supplies

Officials are confident a major fire at a gas fuelled power station will not dent electricity supplies.

More than 25 fire appliances raced to the Didcot B power station last night as flames ripped through a cooling tower.

Such was the scale of the blaze, firefighters from neighbouring services 30 miles away had to be drafted in.

Oxfordshire Fire Service chief officer Dave Etheridge said crews had now got the situation under control and no one was hurt.

"There is absolutely no risk to the public from the smoke plume and we are confident there will be no effect on electricity.

"It was a very serious fire and we are working very hard in very difficult conditions.

"Thankfully we have had no reports of injuries."

Natural gas powered Didcot B, which opened in 1997, generates up to 1,360 MWe of electricity - enough to power a million homes.

Around 12 fire crews attended the facility at around 9pm, but that number doubled as the flames took hold.

However, officials at the RWE nPower owned site - who carry out regular safety drills - managed to shut down the site quickly to stop the incident turning into an inferno.

As firefighters toiled, onlookers were stunned by the sight of the orange flames licking the night's sky.

Local resident Daniel Anderton tweeted: "It was well alight. Lots of fire brigade, police and helicopters..."

Fellow Didcot local Amy Lambourne said: "It still looked very bad even after an hour."

It is not clear how the fire started, but officials have ruled out arson or terrorism.

A spokesman for RWE npower said: "We can confirm that no one is injured which is clearly the most important thing and also that the fire is now under control.

"Obviously the plant has been shut down."

The spokesman added it was "too early to say" how much damage had been caused.

By Ben Wright, Press Association

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Eyewitness video of blaze at power station

Eyewitness @georgina_miles took this footage.

This footage was captured by an eyewitness this evening, as the blaze took hold of Didcot Power Station B. A spokesperson for RWE npower said it was too early to say how much damage had been caused and the exact source of the fire. No one was hurt and the fire is under control.

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Didcot power plant blaze under control

Firefighters are now dampening down the flames. Credit: PA Wire

A spokesman for Oxfordshire Fire and Service confirmed the blaze at Didcot B power station is now under control.

The spokesman said 70 firefighters were at the scene and that the blaze had been reported to the fire service by a member of the public .

He said it was too early to speculate on the extent of the damage but said the fire was "under control" and that the fire was not expected to cause any power blackouts.

No one was injured in the fire. Credit: PA Wire
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