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Didcot vicar: Pray for a miracle after power station collapse

Wed 24 Feb 2016
By Marcus Jones

Christians are being urged to pray for a miracle following the collapse of a power station in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

The emergency services have been using surveillance aircraft, thermal imaging and sniffer dogs to search the rubble of the Didcot A plant for three people still missing.

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Picture: Dave Etheridge from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue (left) and Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable, Scott Chilton.

One person is known to have died when a concrete and steel building at the derelict facility, which was being prepared for demolition, collasped at around 4pm on Tuesday.

Five people left in hospital after the incident are said to be "seriously injured, but not critical", according to Thames Valley Police.

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Dave Etheridge, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS) Chief Fire Officer, updated the media earlier, saying crews have "not picked up any signs of life" and it is "highly likely" the three missing people have survived.

Revd Hannah Reynolds from St Peter's Church in Didcot told Premier she was visiting a care home when she heard a "rumble" from the site yesterday afternoon.

She said the town has been "very silent" today, while St Peter's stayed open last night and people gathered to say prayers and light candles.

Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Speaking on Premier's News Hour programme, Revd Reynolds said: "Please pray for the people who are still missing. The rescue crews, who are trying to find them [are] in very dangerous conditions.

"We need to pray for a miracle that these men will be found safe and well, or as well as can be expected, and that rescue teams find them soon.

"All of these people's families, [including] one man dead...must be distraught. So, prayer for all of those people in that situation is very, very needed."

Speaking earlier today, Dave Etheridge from OFRS said: "We have just spoken to the families who are obviously distraught.

"We have explained to them we have not picked up any signs of life but we are doing everything we can to locate their loved ones.

"It is highly unlikely they are alive."

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable, Scott Chilton, said: "This is a tragic event and we are doing all we can to support those families. The priority at this time is the recovery of the persons missing."

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokeswoman said two investigators were continuing to work with police.

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