Emergency services are currently attending an incident at Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire, which has left one dead while five construction workers are in hospital, and three are missing.
Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service area manager Mat Carlile, who is on the scene, said: “I can confirm search operations are in progress and that there has been one fatality, five persons have been taken to hospital and 3 persons are currently missing."
At 4.04PM Thames Valley Fire Control Service received a call to a building collapse at Didcot Power Station, according to a statement from the council. Specialist Rescue and Command Support Units, and Urban Search and Rescue Units from Buckinghamshire were mobilised along with extensive resources from Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service.
The council has advised residents in the local area to remain inside keeping doors and windows closed, as dust from the collapse covered a considerable area, although it said it can confirm there were no hazardous materials within the building.
RWE Npower, which owns the station, said the accident had occurred at its former Didcot A Power Station, which is currently being demolished.
The energy company said in a statement: "“There has been an incident at our former Didcot A Power Station site in Oxfordshire. The site is currently being demolished. We are working with our contractors Coleman and Company to establish the facts and will keep you updated as soon as we have more information.”
Eyewitnesses to the incident had reported hearing an "explosion".
Rodney Rose, the deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, told the Oxford Mail: “I have been told there has been one fatality, but the rest is currently unknown. At the moment this is being treated as a collapsed building, not an explosion, but there was a bang.”
Thames Valley Police have said that they will release further information in due course.
Ed Vaizey, the Conservative MP for Didcot and Wantage, tweeted his concern about the incident:
Very concerned about terrible events at Didcot power station. Praying for workers and their families.— Ed Vaizey (@edvaizey) February 23, 2016
Didcot previously comprised of two power stations. Didcot A was a dual-fired station which began operating in 1970 and closed in March 2013. The demolition of the station is expected to finish by the end of this year.
Didcot B is a natural gas-burning power station which began operating in 1997. In 2014, a huge fire broke out at the station, after one of its cooling towers caught alight.