Didcot power station bodies search 'will take time'

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Media captionAbout 20,000 tonnes of material still needs to be sifted through at the site

A 40m (131ft) pile of rubble has been cleared from the collapsed Didcot power station site but finding the three missing men will take time, police have said.

The collapse killed four workers - one body has been recovered - and injured five others.

Thames Valley Police say 20,000 tonnes of material remain, but the recovery operation was progressing to schedule.

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

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), together with the police, are carrying out a joint investigation into the cause of the collapsed boiler house.

'Dawn to dusk'

The recovery mission by RWE Npower began on 19 March and is being supported by forensic archaeologists, metallurgists and structural engineers, with drones and cameras gathering information.

Specialists from the police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue's Urban Search and Rescue, and the South Central Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team are also at the scene.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption The Health and Safety Executive and police are investigating the collapse

A police spokesman said: "The absolute priority of the multi-agency response to this incident remains the recovery of the missing men so they can be returned to their families.

"These debris removal works are ongoing seven days a week, from dawn to dusk.

"Whilst to date everything is progressing to plan, due to the complex nature of the collapse the recovery phase will still take some time."

The standing structure remains in an unsafe condition, he added.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Police dogs have been used to search the wreckage

He said officers were supporting the families affected, providing them with regular updates.

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

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

Image caption The plant was set for demolition when it collapsed in February

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