Didcot A boiler house building collapse - update

Our thoughts are with the four families affected by the partial collapse of the boiler house at the former Didcot A Power Station on 23 February. RWE remains committed to doing everything it can to assist the multi-agency recovery operation and return the three missing men to their families.  

RWE began its investigation of the incident and assessment of the remaining structure within 24 hours of the building collapse, while the emergency services undertook the rescue operation.

The incident at Didcot and the impact of the boiler house collapse has presented RWE with a complex and unprecedented situation. While the recovery operation is everyone’s top priority, it is absolutely vital that any work to and around the remaining structure does not put other people’s lives in danger.

RWE has been collating all available information from a safe location including photographs taken prior to the collapse, information from drones, structural drawings and visual inspections. This has been used to carry out a full and thorough assessment and make an informed decision on the stability of the remaining structure.

RWE has also consulted with external specialists on this information; however, it cannot yet conclude that the remaining part of the boiler house is stable. As such, this area cannot be worked on safely and no one is permitted to access part of the debris pile that sits within the designated exclusion zone adjacent to it. RWE will therefore continue to work with all the authorities involved in the recovery operation on the best way to deal with the remaining part of the building so that necessary recovery work on site can continue beyond the current safe areas.

Following agreement with Thames Valley Police and HSE on 19 March 2016, RWE started the clearance process on a section of the debris pile that has been designated as safe and which is furthest away from the remaining structure. These debris removal works are ongoing 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. Whilst to date everything is progressing to plan, due to the complex nature of the collapse the recovery task will still take many weeks. The families of the missing men continue to be kept fully informed by specialist police liaison officers.