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Didcot Power Station collapse: Rescue response defended

The collapsed Didcot Power Station Image copyright PA
Image caption Three men remain trapped under the power station which collapsed on 23 February

The chief fire officer working at the collapsed Didcot power station site has defended their handling of the rescue attempt for the three missing men.

It follows criticism from two of the three families of those missing who say the rescue operation has been too slow.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue's chief fire officer Dave Etheridge said: "We did everything we could to try to make our way into that rubble pile."

One person died and five were injured after half of the building collapsed.

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The decommissioned plant collapsed as it was being prepared for demolition

Mr Etheridge said: "On that night we had the very best brains in England and the best equipment at that scene.

"We are dealing with a building which was due to be demolished and the structure of it is naturally weakened.

"What we have to make sure of course is that we minimise the risk to our own people as well, and that's an enormously difficult thing to balance."

The 10-storey building came down as it was being prepared for demolition on 23 February at 16:00 GMT.

The body of Michael Collings, 53 was found following the collapse.

A search operation remains under way at the site to locate the missing workers - Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, who are both from Rotherham.

Emergency services have said the recovery operation to reach the bodies of the three men will take rescuers many weeks, if not months.

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