'Highly unlikely' three missing Didcot workers still alive, officials warn

It is "highly unlikely" that three people still missing in the rubble of the Didcot Power Station collapse are still alive, officials have said.

The search has been hampered by the "unstable" section still standing, they added.

The station closed in 2013 and was in the process of being demolished when it collapsed yesterday, killing one and injuring five.

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Recovery of Didcot workers bodies 'could take weeks'

The pile of rubble from the collapse is 30ft high. Credit: PA

It could take weeks, if not months, to recover the bodies of three people trapped under the collapsed Didcot power station, police said.

Thames Valley Constable Scott Chilton said the structure is still "unsafe" and they are seeking "specialist advice" on how to progress.

"It will take many weeks and, in reality, many months before we will be able to get access to those trapped," he said.

The building collapsed at 4pm last Tuesday while workers were preparing it for demolition, killing worker Mike Collings and trapping three others inside the rubble.

Investigations into the exact cause of the collapse are still ongoing.


Families of missing workers visit Didcot collapse site

The fire service say they “remain committed” to finding the missing demolition workers, after their families visited the site of the collapsed power station at Didcot.

Diggers are being used to sift through the rubble searching for the three missing people

Thames Valley Police said the families have spoken to Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service about the search operation, and were reassured that they would do everything possible to find their loved ones.

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.

– Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Dust covers the ground as investigations continue at the site Credit: Oxfordshire County Council

Police say they are working to find out how the building collapsed.

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

– Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton, Thames Valley Police

No air quality problems at Didcot site, say health officers

There are no air quality problems at the site of the Didcot Power Station collapse, according to environmental health officers.

Dust rose into the air following the collapse of much of the building on Tuesday afternoon, which was caught on video by witnesses.

It was later confirmed that there were no hazardous materials on site, but residents living nearby were told to keep doors and windows closed.

'Huge risk' that rest of Didcot Power Station may collapse

There is a "huge risk" that the remaining section of Didcot Power Station could collapse, with emergency crews prepared for it to happen "at any minute", officials have said.

Oxfordshire Fire Service chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said the main priority was to reunite families with their missing loved ones, warning it was "highly unlikely" the three workers still unaccounted for had survived.

He said they were working closely with building and structural engineers and construction experts to help keep search and rescue officers safe as they continue to work through the rubble.

Clearly, the fact that we're dealing with here is that we had a complete building that was being prepared for demolition. Part of that building has collapsed.

The other half has been subject to the same approach, so consequently we are working on the principle that that second building could collapse at any time.

– Dave Etheridge, chief fire officer

One person - a member of the demolition team - has already been confirmed dead, while five others remain in hospital in what police say is a "serious but not critical" condition.


'Highly unlikely' missing Didcot workers still alive

It is "highly unlikely" that three people still missing in the rubble of the Didcot Power Station collapse are still alive, officials have said.

Chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said he had spoken to their families and explained that there had been no promising signs of life.

The structurally unstable building has continued to hamper search efforts, he said.

We are doing everything we can to locate their families and loved ones. Our thoughts sympathies and prayers are with them at this very, very difficult time.

The extent of this incident, the nature of the collapse and the location of the missing people, and where they were working means that it is highly unlikely that the three missing people are alive.

– Chief fire officer Dave Etheridge

They had tried the workers' construction site radios with no response, he said, which was seen as "significant".

Vowing to do "everything possible" to find the missing people, he said sniffer dogs, listening devices and drones had been in use, and officers are now exploring the possibility of using remote control probes to search in areas which are too dangerous for emergency workers to access.

To date, one person has been confirmed as killed in the collapse, who has now been identified as a member of the demolition team.

Five people are in hospital after being seriously injured, but Ch Cons Scott Chiltern said they were in a stable condition.

Didcot station collapse an 'accident waiting to happen'

The Didcot Power Station collapse was "a big accident waiting to happen", one former worker at the plant has told ITV News.

Vendel Segesdy said he suspected the station wasn't a "solid structure" when looking at it from nearby last week.

Mr Segesdy, who worked at the station from 1969 until it closed in 2013, said: "I thought if they've not taken a lot of the heavy plant out of there it's just going to fall in on itself."

He added: "That's what I believe that's happened, is that they've done work and it's left it like a pack of cards ready to fold."

PM sends condolences to Didcot victim's family and friends

Prime Minister David Cameron

David Cameron has sent his condolences to the family and friends of the victim of the Didcot Power Station collapse.

The station was in the process of being demolished when it collapsed yesterday, killing one and injuring five.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: "I know the whole House would want to join me in sending our condolences to the family and friends of the victim and our best wishes to those who are still missing or injured."

He said the Health and Safety Executive will carry out a full investigation into the incident.

Images show scale of destruction at Didcot collapse

Fresh aerial images show the scale of the destruction caused by the collapse of the disused Didcot Power Station.

The images show the scale of the task facing emergency services

Mountainous piles of rubble dwarf the diggers and other equipment being used to dig through the debris, as the search for three people who are still missing continues.

Fire officials today said search dogs had found "some signs" of life beneath the rubble, and said they were still hoping to find survivors - but warned the signs had not been "significant".

Three people are still missing after the collapse

Search efforts have been hampered by the unstable nature of the structure still standing.

One person was killed and five others needed hospital treatment when the power station building came down yesterday.

Investigations into what caused the collapse may take weeks, officials have said.

The piles of rubble dwarf the diggers and other equipment being used to dig through
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