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Body of one of three missing workers recovered at collapsed Didcot Power Station boiler house

The body of one of three missing men has been recovered from the rubble of the collapsed boiler house at Didcot A Power Station, police have confirmed.

Brown and Mason paused removal of the debris so that specialists from Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, and the South Central Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Recovery Team could enter the site.

The body was recovered from the site in the early hours of Thursday morning and a guard of honour was held to mark the removal.

The guard of honour included representatives from the families of the missing men, Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, RWE, and Coleman & Co.

Thames Valley Police said the body had not yet been formally identified and that this would be a matter for the coroner.

In a statement, police said: “The families of the three men missing since the collapse have been informed and are being supported by specially trained Thames Valley Police officers.

“The safe recovery of the body will take place and the Disaster Victim Identification process will commence.”

RWE declined to comment when contacted by Construction News.

The bodies of three Coleman & Co employees – Ken Cresswell, John Shaw and Chris Huxtable – have been trapped under the collapsed portion of the boiler house since its partial collapse more than six months ago, on 23 February.

Another worker, Michael Collings, was found dead shortly after the collapse.

Mark Coleman, managing director of Coleman & Company, said in a statement: “It’s been more than six months since the terrible accident at Didcot. I know these have been the most dreadful days for the families of our three missing friends and colleagues.

“We continue and will continue to offer our full support to their families as the recovery operation continues.

“It has been a painstaking and difficult operation on-site at Didcot and I would like to pay tribute to the dedication of the teams on the ground, who are working so closely with RWE Npower, the Health and Safety Executive and the police. I can’t thank you enough for all you are doing.”

Brown and Mason is overseeing the removal and processing of the debris pile as principal contractor after taking over the recovery operation from Coleman & Co on 16 May.

The demolition specialist had to previously pause work after reaching a 50 m exclusion zone around the debris pile.

The remaining structure of the boiler house was brought down remotely using explosives on 17 July by Alford Technologies, allowing Brown and Mason to resume work soon after.

Didcot: Timeline

  • 23 February: Boiler house at Didcot A Power Station partially collapses.
  • 26 February: First victim named as Michael Collings, 53.
  • 2 March: Coleman & Co MD Mark Coleman speaks exclusively to CN about the incident.
  • 16 May: Brown and Mason takes over recovery operation from Coleman & Company, before being halted shortly after due to safety fears.
  • 17 July: Alford Technologies demolished remaining boiler house structure remotely using explosives, allowing Brown and Mason to resume shortly afterwards.
  • 31 August: Body of one of the three missing men located.
  • 1 August: Guard of honour held to mark recovery of the body.


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