1 dead, 3 missing after UK power plant collapse

LONDON – An unused power station in southern England partially collapsed Tuesday, killing one person and injuring five others, British emergency services said.

Describing the collapse as a “major incident,” Oxfordshire fire services said search operations at the Didcot plant 60 miles (100 kilometres) west of London were ongoing and three people were still reported missing.

The incident occurred at an old coal- and oil-fueled plant that has been closed since 2013 and is slated for demolition. The Didcot facility also houses an operating gas-powered plant.

Power supplier Npower said part of the old power station collapsed while a demolition contractor was working on it. Witnesses told British media they heard a loud explosion.

South Central Ambulance sent six ambulances, two air ambulances and a hazardous response team to the site Tuesday afternoon.

Oxfordshire deputy chief fire officer Nathan Travis said he expected the search for the missing to continue through the night because of the instability of the site.

Some 50 people were treated for dust inhalation at the scene. The fire services said that although dust from the collapse covered a large area, there were no hazardous materials found within the building.