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Didcot power station: Search resumes after demolition

Search efforts for three men killed in the Didcot power station collapse have resumed after the remainder of the boiler house was demolished.

A remote demolition brought down the decommissioned site at about 06:00 BST in a unique operation using remote-controlled robots.

Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, and Chris Huxtable, 34, were trapped under rubble on 23 February.

The body of Michael Collings, 53, of Teesside, was recovered.

The building – which was due for demolition when it partially collapsed – had been too unstable to be approached afterwards.

RWE Npower, which owns the site, said the demolition had “gone as planned” and all of the structure was brought down.



Dust cloud

A spokesman said: “Now the building has been brought down, an inspection has confirmed the area and debris pile are safe and our contractors have resumed the recovery operation.

“We will continue working seven days a week, 12 hours a day to help return these families’ loved ones to them as soon as possible.”

The firm added it understood the time it was taking to recover the bodies had been “deeply upsetting” for their families.

BBC News correspondent Amanda Dellor, who was at the scene, said the charges went off one minute after six and the building came down “very quickly”, covering the entire site in a dust cloud.

Families of the missing men watched from within the boundary of the power station.

Image caption The search for Ken Cresswell and John Shaw, of Rotherham, and Chris Huxtable, of Swansea, has now resumed

The search was halted in May when contractors reached a 50m (164ft) exclusion zone, beyond which it was considered too dangerous to continue.

The families of the three men yet to be recovered had opposed plans to use explosives for the demolition.

Ken Cresswell and John Shaw were both from Rotherham, while Chris Huxtable was from Swansea.

Steve Hall, son-in-law of Mr Cresswell, previously said: “We want the men back in one piece, not many pieces.”



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