Prosecutions

Didcot investigation into four workers’ deaths still unresolved

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On 23 February it will be the sixth anniversary of the Didcot disaster which claimed the lives of four demolition workers. But police say it’s still not possible to say when the investigation will be completed.


Didcot Power Station, a disused coal-fired plant in Oxfordshire, was set to be demolished when its boiler house fell down in February 2016.

Michael Collings, 53, was killed outright in the collapse and the bodies of three other workers, Chris Huxtable, Kenneth Cresswell and John Shaw were later uncovered by rescue teams.

Didcot collapse. Photograph: Thames Valley Police video.Didcot collapse. Photograph: Thames Valley Police video.

Thames Valley Police and HSE have been working jointly on the case, which has involved sifting through 870 tonnes of evidence related to the partial collapse. They are investigating corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and health and safety offences.

In a statement given to Demolition News following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, Thames Valley Police said they are continuing to investigate all three offences.

“We retain regular proactive contact with the families through our dedicated Family Liaison Officers who are there for the families if they wish to ask anything about the investigation.

“At this time it is not possible for us to put a specific timeframe for the investigation to be completed. The dedicated investigation team will continue their work to ensure a thorough investigation is completed in the interests of justice and to deliver answers for the family.”

Following the incident in 2016, HSE and Thames Valley police issued a statement to say: “We are working hard to identify as soon as possible what caused the building to partially collapse, to provide answers and prevent such a tragedy happening again.”

An update from HSE is expected on Demolition News, following a similar FOI request it issued to the regulator.

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