Didcot eyewitness describes 'massive explosion' as workers prepared power station for demolition

'I'm hearing there were people inside the building at the time'

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The Independent Online

An eyewitness has described hearing a “massive explosion” at Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire, as emergency services declared a major incident and local officials confirmed at least one fatality.

Deputy council leader Rodney Rose has told the Oxford Mail at least one person is believed to have died, with other casualties expected, after part of a building at the power station collapsed.

Adrian Redhead, 33, was at home in Didcot when he heard the “massive explosion” just after 4pm.

He told The Independent he was hearing reports that there were people inside the building at the time of the incident.

“There was this massive explosion, which sounded like a train coming off the tracks – it was that loud,” he said.

“Within 30 seconds emergency vehicles were all over the place. The amount of smoke and dust coming across was incredible.”

Part of the power station was destroyed as part of a controlled detonation last July, with only a core section of the site remaining in service.

Mr Redhead said: “It wasn’t as loud as the planned detonations in the summer but came as much more of a shock – this wasn’t expected.

“Since it happened the emergency services reaction has been non-stop, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

A spokeswoman for RWE NPower - which manages the site – told The Independent on Tuesday they were not aware of a planned demolition at the time of the explosion or any in the near future.