One person was killed, three were missing and four were in hospital last night following a building collapse at a power station.
Emergency services declared a “major incident” after being called to the scene at Didcot in south Oxfordshire at 4pm.
The collapse happened at the former coal-fired Didcot A plant, which closed in 2013 and was in the process of being demolished.
The fire service advised
people to stay indoors, saying that while dust from the collapse had covered “a considerable area” there were no hazardous materials in the building.
Fire engines from Oxfordshire were at the scene, along with specialist search units and further teams from Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service, including six ambulances and two air ambulance helicopters.
Pictures from the scene showed a significant chunk of a building in the
defunct Didcot A site has collapsed, with a large amount of debris on the ground.
A GMB union official said: “We understand that workers were preparing two boilers for demolition in the coming weeks.
“This led to the collapse of a building.”
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said “casualties” were being taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and asked the public to stay away unless suffering “serious or life-threatening emergencies”.
David Cooke, whose company Thames Cryogenics has a building overlooking the power station, said: “Our building shook and as we looked out of the window, the end of the main turbine hall collapsed in a huge pile of dust.
“It totally obscured the towers and must have drifted across the roads and main rail line. What’s left looks a tangled mess.
“The dust was hanging over the area for five to ten minutes.
“First thought was it didn’t looked planned, followed by the thought that people are going to have been hurt.”