In Brief

Didcot Power Station collapse: one dead and three missing

Sniffer dogs and drones brought in to help search operation, but unstable building hampers rescue

A major search is underway for three missing people following the collapse of a building at Didcot Power Station that left one person dead.

Photographs show a significant chunk of a building has collapsed in the defunct Oxfordshire site, leaving a large amount of debris on the ground. Six ambulances and two air ambulances were sent to the scene yesterday.

Eyewitness Adrian Redhead told Sky News there had been a "massive explosion" with a "massive dust cloud ".

He added: "I looked out of the bedroom window and half the building was missing and the rest is hanging on by a thread."

Owners Npower later said the "explosion" was actually part of the structure collapsing, causing the rest of the building to come down.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"91324","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Specialist teams from across the country are searching the rubble pile, which is said to be 30ft in height. Sniffer dogs and drones are also being used, but the search has been hampered by the building's unstable structure, according to the fire service.

Local residents were told to remain inside and keep doors and windows closed, although the fire service said there were no hazardous materials in the building.

Some of the buildings at the Didcot A site were due for demolition in the coming weeks and three of the six cooling towers were brought down in controlled explosions last year.

An Npower spokeswoman said the building had collapsed "while an external demolition contractor was working in it".

Oxford County Council confirmed one person had died, five people had been taken to hospital and three were still missing this morning. Another 50 people were treated at the scene for dust inhalation.

The building collapse comes more than a year after a major fire was declared at the Didcot B site in October 2014.

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