Bodies search begins as debris removal starts at Didcot power station

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Media captionAerial footage showed the site as the search for the missing men resumed

Work to locate the bodies of three missing men and clear debris from the site of the collapsed Didcot power station, has started.

Heavy lifting gear has been brought in to clear the site of the accident which killed one man whose body was recovered, and injured five others.

The recovery operation has been criticised by their families of the missing men for being too slow.

The plant was set for demolition when it collapsed on 23 February.

Image caption Heavy machinery is lifting rubble from the site in the search for the missing three men at Didcot power station

Thames Valley Police and the Health and Safety Executive said returning the missing men to their families "remains a priority".

The bodies of Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, have not been found following the collapse.

The body of Michael Collings, 53, from Brotton, Teesside, was recovered from the site.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Emergency service workers have been at the site in Didcot for the past three weeks, but there have been fears over the "unstable" pile of rubble

His funeral was held near Redcar on Tuesday, with hundreds of bikers attending.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Thames Valley Police and the Health and Safety Executive said: "Starting today, large equipment and people will be arriving on site to start work to enable the recovery operation to resume at the weekend, sooner if possible.

"Our priority remains the recovery of the missing men so they can be returned to their families and to understand what caused this incident.

"Specialist officers from Thames Valley Police continue to support the families and are providing them with regular updates on the progress of this work."

Demolition company Coleman and Co said: "Our over-riding priority remains to support the families of those who have died or are still tragically missing, and the start of the recovery operation is an important milestone in a process to re-unite our missing colleagues with their families."

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Michael Collings died when part of the building at Didcot power station collapsed

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