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Wed June 16 2021

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After 201 days the last Didcot victim is recovered

12 Sep 16 The body of the final missing demolition worker has been recovered from the rubble of Didcot power station.

The guard of honour for John Shaw. Photo from Thames Valley Police.
The guard of honour for John Shaw. Photo from Thames Valley Police.

Thames Valley Police announced that contractors had located the last missing man from Didcot power station at 7pm on Friday 9th September. Debris removal was paused to allow specialists from Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and the South Central Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) to enter the site.

The body was removed from the site in the early house of Sunday 11th September, 201 days after the unexpected boiler house collapse that took his life and that of three colleagues. His identity was later confirmed as John Shaw, 61, from Rotherham.

John Shaw is the last of the four men to be located following the collapse of the boiler house at the Power Station on 23rd February 2016.

Michael Collings was found soon after the collapse of the building. Christopher Huxtable was located on 31st August and Ken Cresswell on 7th September.

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The removal of the body on Sunday morning was marked by a guard of honour that included representatives from the families of the missing men, Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue, South Central Ambulance Service, RWE and the men’s employer, Coleman & Company.

Mark Coleman, managing director of Coleman & Co, said: “For the families, the loss of their husbands, partners, fathers, brothers and sons is an absolute tragedy and everyone at Coleman & Company is deeply sorry for their loss.  The families of Chris Huxtable, Kenny Cresswell and John Shaw, have had to endure an agonising wait for their loved ones to be recovered and during this time we have witnessed a spirit of togetherness and support for each other. All the families are in our thoughts and prayers and we remain committed to supporting them in any way we can.

“We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to RWE who took a leading role in planning the work that allowed recovery operations to continue, Alford Technologies who undertook remote demolition and Brown & Mason who provided people, plant and equipment to undertake the most sensitive aspects of the recovery operation in the most difficult of circumstances. 

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