Birmingham Workers Were At Didcot Power Station When It Collapsed

24 February 2016, 11:16 | Updated: 24 February 2016, 11:34

A phone line has been set up for worried relatives of Birmingham workers who were at Didcot power station when it collapsed.

Employees from Coleman and Company, based in Great Barr, were at the coal plant in Oxfordshire when it happened yesterday, as they were preparing the site before it was due to be demolished.

One person has died and a major search operation is under way for three others after a building collapsed there yesterday.

Five people are being treated in hospital and two are seriously injured.

A further 50 people were treated for dust inhalation at the scene, where a ``major incident'' was declared shortly after emergency services were called at 4pm yesterday (Tuesday).

Oxfordshire deputy chief fire officer Nathan Travis said specialist urban search and rescue teams, including sniffer dogs, are at the ``challenging'' site.

He said: ``The building is potentially 10 storeys high, half of that building has collapsed, so you have got a rubble pile which is approximately 20 to 30 feet deep at the moment.

``The search will be considerable due to the instability of the site, we expect the search to continue throughout the night and possibly into the coming days.''

Asked what the chances were of finding the missing alive he replied: ``At the moment I can't give you any details on that but it is a substantial collapse of a building.''

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

A GMB union official told the Press Association: ``We understand that workers were preparing two boilers for demolition in the coming weeks. This led to the collapse of a building.''

An npower spokeswoman said: ``We can confirm that shortly after 4pm this afternoon part of the boiler house at our former Didcot A power station site in Oxfordshire collapsed while an external demolition contractor was working in it.

``Our thoughts are with the families of all those involved in this tragedy.''