A major emergency services incident is still underway today after an explosion was reported at Didcot A Power Station in Oxfordshire. Here's everything we know so far.
What is Didcot Power Station?
Didcot actually has two power stations. A and B. Didcot A was a 2000MWe combined coal and oil plant which closed in 2013 and was due for demolition. Didcot B is a still operational 1360MWe active natural gas plant. It was announced last year that Didcot B will be closing in 2023 to comply with European environmental rules. Both plants are owned by Npower.
At around 4pm yesterday, Didcot A has partially collapsed. While no cause of has been officially given, the plant was due to be blown up in a controlled demolition by Coleman Demolition on the 4th March (in just 9 days time). So understandably, the speculation is that the rigged explosives have gone off too early - but curiously, Npower has said that contrary to initial reports there wasn't an explosion. According to reports, it was the demolition company's first power station contract. The Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation.
— Karen Farrington (@KJF1) February 23, 2016
Judging by images shared on social media, it appears that approximately half of the 300m long building has now collapsed.
— Simon welch (@squelchy1) February 23, 2016
How many casualties are there?
Sadly one person has died. Four others have been taken to hospital in Oxford - two with major injuries, and two with minor injuries. Three people are still missing - and the site is currently being searched for them, with dogs and drones being deployed to aid the search. Apparently 40 people were treated on the site for dust inhalation, but they have now been discharged.
Any concerned relatives can call 0121 3252424 for more information.
Is the incident impacting anything else?
Luckily, the collapse has not been too disruptive. There have been no local road closures, and trains appear to not be disrupted. Because the plant was already closed, there shouldn't be any impact on electricity supplies.