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Summary

  1. Updates from 23 February 2016

Live Reporting

By Dave Gilyeat

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage through the day

We're winding down our live coverage on the Didcot Power Station collapse for now.

You can follow the latest developments overnight on the BBC news website.

We will be back with live coverage at 06:00 tomorrow as the search operation continues.

Didcot dust cloud
Robbie Girling

Search of rubble 'will be considerable'

Deputy fire officer Nathan Travis stressed the collapse of the 300m long 10-storey high building was not caused by a terrorist incident.

He said the search would be considerable "due to the instability of the site" and that sniffer dogs would be used to carry out a systematic search of the 20-30ft deep rubble pile.

About 60 firefighters were on site at the busiest point. There is a 100m cordon in place but no roads are currently closed.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and will conduct an investigation supported by Thames Valley Police.

Hospital says five men being treated at JR Hospital

It seems there's a bit of confusion over the number of injuries from the collapse at Didcot Power Station.

The fire service has reported four people hurt but John Radcliffe Hospital said it is treating five men.

"Four of the men are in a stable and non-life threatening condition, while one man is in a serious but not life-threatening condition," it said.

Fire officer: 'No explosives at Didcot site'

The fire officer also confirmed there were no explosives in the building at the time.

He said the workers were prepping the area for a demolition.

BreakingFire service confirms three men still missing

According to Nathan Travis, deputy chief fire officer of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, three people are still missing following the Didcot A Power Station collapse. 

He said the search was expected to continue through the night and into the coming days.

Didcot fire officer: Four people taken to hospital

The fire officer said four people had been taken to John Radcliffe Hospital - two with serious injuries and two with minor injuries.

It was initially reported five people had been injured.

Dozens treated for dust inhalation at Didcot

Nathan Travis, deputy chief fire officer of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, said more than 50 people have been treated at the site for dust inhalation.

RWE npower: Incident was 'partial collapse not explosion'

A senior spokesman for RWE npower said it was a partial collapse and not an explosion that caused a section of the building to come down.

Didcot A Power Station: Before and after

Former Didcot power station worker Nigel Brady has taken pictures of the site before and after this afternoon's collapse.

Didcot damage before and after
Nigel Brady

He worked there from 1989 to 2013, and was on staff when the last generator was taken off the grid. 

"Didcot A has been a huge part of my life for 28 years," he said.

Worried Didcot relatives given helpline number

Any concerned relatives of Coleman & Company employees, pls contact Joanne Barton Group HR Manager on 07725 258271 or 0121 325 2424 #Didcot

Former Didcot worker 'saw guys working there today'

Nigel Brady, who lives in Grove, Oxfordshire, worked at the power station for 28 years and now works opposite it.

"I'd seen the guys working in there today. I'm shocked by the events, that something has gone so wrong.

"My understanding is it's a pure collapse, this is just hearsay from social media, but my friends don't believe it was an explosion."

Deputy fire chief to address the media at Didcot

We're expecting a statement imminently from deputy chief fire officer of Oxfordshire fire service Nathan Travis.

It is unclear if there have been any further developments.

Didcot eyewitness: 'Half the building collapsed'

Bill Stammers, who was on Great Western Park at the time of the collapse, told BBC Radio Oxford: "I heard this rumbling, and wondered what on earth was that?

"It wasn't like the 'crump' when they dropped the towers [in 2014]. I got up to see what it was, looked out... and half the turbine hall had dropped."

Didcot power station map
BBC

Didcot contractor 'working to establish facts'

Coleman Demolition, which was working to decommission Didcot Power Station at the time of the collapse, has just given an update on Twitter. 

We are aware of an incident at #Didcot A Power Station. We are working with all Stakeholders to establish facts and will keep you updated.

Search operation progressing at Didcot Power Station collapse

Area manager Mat Carlile, from Thames Valley Fire Control Service, said search and rescues teams will work into the night to try and find survivors.

Didcot damage after dark
BBC

Oxfordshire County Council has advised residents to remain inside keeping doors and windows closed.

Aerial footage shows Didcot aftermath

Helicopter footage has revealed the scale of the collapse at Didcot Power Station.

Rescue teams are faced with a huge task to locate the missing workers.

Didcot aerial footage
bbc

Fire chief: 'No further risk to public from collapsed building'

Oxfordshire chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said a search and rescue team from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes fire service was helping with the operation. 

He said there was no risk of any further building collapse, or risk to the public from the dust cloud.

As the building was scheduled for demolition in 10 days time, all hazardous materials had been moved out, he explained.

BreakingFire chief confirms one dead and several injured in collapse

Chief fire officer Dave Etheridge described the collapse as a "very severe incident" which left one dead, five injured and three unaccounted for.

He expressed "absolute sympathy and deep thoughts to all the families involved". 

He added: "We are doing our very best to secure the return of their loved ones as soon as we can."

Didcot damage
BBC

Breaking'Three people still missing' in Didcot collapse

Oxfordshire fire and rescue says three people are still unaccounted for after part of Didcot A Power Station collapsed.

Workers 'were preparing boilers for demolition'

A GMB union official said workers at Didcot Power Station were preparing two boilers for their demolition in the coming weeks which "led to the collapse of a building". 

He did not believe there had been an explosion, he added. 

Didcot collapse: What we know so far

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

  • A major incident has been declared after part of Didcot A Power Station collapsed at around 16:00
  • People near to the site reported a loud rumble followed by a large dust cloud  
  • There is at least one reported fatality
  • Casualties are being taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital
Didcot damage
BBC

Npower working to confirm facts of Didcot Power Station collapse

The owner of Didcot A Power Station says it is working with its contractor, which was helping to decommission the site, to establish what has happened.

We are working with our contractors Coleman and Company to establish the facts re the tragic events at #Didcot

Search and rescue team sent to Didcot Power Station collapse

Urban Search and Rescue team based at Aylesbury assisting at major incident at #Didcot (4 vehicles, 11 people)

Urban Search and Rescue team based at Aylesbury assisting at major incident at #Didcot (4 vehicles, 11 people)

Workers 'shocked' by power station incident

A caller called Tim, who was working at Southmead Industrial Estate at 16:00 today, told BBC Radio Oxford he saw a "huge plume of dust" come from the power station site.

Emergency services at Didcot
BBC

"There was a huge noise and I caught it collapsing as I looked out of the window. People were definitely shocked and didn't know whether to get back to work.

"When I had a closer look it was a twisted mass of metal."

Didcot explosion: Casualties being taken to John Radcliffe Hospital

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it is responding to the major incident at Didcot A Power Station, with casualties being directed to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

"Due to a major incident at Didcot please consider carefully before coming to A&E," it added.

John Radcliffe Hospital
Bill Nicholls

Didcot Power Station explosion: 'Main turbine hall collapsed in a pile of dust'

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.

Didcot Power Station blast
PA

"It totally obscured the towers and must have drifted across the roads and main rail line.

"What's left looks a tangled mess. First thought was it didn't looked planned, followed by the thought that people are going to have been hurt."

MP 'praying' for workers at Didcot A Power Station

Very concerned about terrible events at Didcot power station. Praying for workers and their families.

At the scene: 'Blue and red lights lighting the area'

Amanda Dellor

BBC Radio Oxford

The light's fading here now and the sun's setting but the scene is being lit up by all the blue and red lights flashing around the area and a major investigation is under way.

A significant chunk of a building in the defunct Didcot A site has collapsed, with a large amount of debris on the ground. 

The total demolition of the site was expected to be by the end of this year.

Police remain at power station following explosion

Didcot A Power Station was in process of being decomissioned

Didcot A Power Station, where the collapse and dust explosion has happened, was in the process of being decommissioned.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch its 375 ft (114m) towers come down in 2014, marking the end of an era for the coal-fired power station, which dominated the skyline around the town since 1970.

Didcot Power Station
PA

You can view a timeline of the power station's eventful life here.

Didcot B continues to provide power - it provides about 1.3GW of electricity to the grid, enough power for a million homes.  

'Dust cleared quickly' at power station site

Our reporter at the scene says at least two helicopters are above the power station. 

Three police cars and two fire engines arrived on site very quickly.

The dust cleared fairly quickly and there is no signs of any flames, he added.

More footage from Didcot explosion aftermath

Blaine Morris-Smith captured footage of the dust cloud following the blast at the power station.

View more on twitter

Power station made 'a bang and loud rumble'

Bill McKinnon, 59, tells us: "I was sitting in the front room and I heard - I think it was a bang and then this really loud rumble.

"I looked across and thought, 'oh, they're blowing up the power station again'.

Helicopter in Didcot
@REALANDYB

"A big cloud of dust came through our village like it did a couple of years ago when they blew up the towers.

"Once that had cleared quite a good portion of the main building where they used to keep the generators is now missing."

Didcot Power Station building 'hanging by a thread'

Adrian Redhead tells us: "There was loads of dust and smoke and half the building's missing.

"Half of it has come down and the rest of it is hanging by a thread."

Didcot dust explosion
Blaine Morris-Smith

Video footage of Didcot dust cloud

This footage was captured in the aftermath of the incident at Didcot A Power Station, as a large dust cloud envelops the site.

View more on twitter

BreakingDidcot explosion: Deputy council leader reports one fatality

Rodney Rose, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, has told the Oxford Mail he has been informed by emergency services of at least one fatality so far.

Didcot damage
BBC

BreakingDidcot Power Station explosion: Major incident declared with possible casualties

A major incident has been declared with several casualties after an explosion at Didcot A Power Station, South Central Ambulance Service said. 

Police were called to the site at 16:00.

Energy company confirms incident at Didcot Power Station site

Both and Oxford University Hospitals Trust and RWE npower tell us they're aware of a situation at the Didcot site but are awaiting more details.

'Massive noise' at Didcot Power Station site

Eyewitness Adrian Redhead tells us: "I’d just got home from work just after 4pm when there was a massive noise – it sounded like a train had come off the rails.

Didcot Power Station
Samuel Green

"Sirens were all over the place. I looked outside and saw all the dust. There were loads of emergency vehicles. There are two helicopters above now.... a load of dust came over the house.

"I’ve heard there are people inside. My friend’s husband is a paramedic on his way there."

Didcot Power Station: Previous incidents

Readers may recall that three enormous cooling towers at the disused Didcot A Power Station were demolished at the site in 2014.

Demolition in 2014
BBC

The coal-fired power station ceased generating in 2013.

There was a huge fire at the site of Didcot B in 2014 due to an electrical fault.