Oxford

Didcot power station collapse: Preparations for explosive demolition start

Didcot Power Station collapse Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Demolition work was taking place at the plant when it collapsed in February

The demolition of the remaining section of Didcot Power Station could be carried out in two weeks time.

RWE Npower is planning to bring down the remains of the boiler house at the Didcot A plant which partly collapsed in February, killing four men.

Three bodies are yet to be recovered, despite protests by their families.

The energy company has now sent letters to people living nearby to inform them that preparations for the explosive demolition have started.

The letter said: "Further information on the exact timing will be made public 48 hours before the controlled explosive demolition.

"The explosion and collapse may be heard off site, however any noise will be over in under a minute. It is possible that there will be airborne dust, this is not harmful but could cause a nuisance.

"We would recommend keeping doors and windows closed to minimise noise and dust nuisance."

Image copyright AP
Image caption The cause of the collapse is being investigated jointly by police and the Health and Safety Executive

Plans are being finalised and are due to be submitted to a multi-agency strategy team, which includes the Health and Safety Executive.

Work to recover the men's bodies had been halted because contractors have reached a 50m (164 ft) exclusion zone.

In Oxfordshire County Council cabinet papers published earlier the cost to Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service of attending the incident and subsequent search and recovery operations stands at £300,000.

The length of time to recover Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, has previously been criticised by some family members.

John Howley, the uncle of Mr Cresswell, described it as "diabolical".

Labour MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion also branded it a "national scandal".

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