Delay in recovering bodies of Rotherham men branded a 'national scandal' by MP

Didcot power station after the collapse
Didcot power station after the collapse
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The six -month delay in recovering the bodies of two Rotherham men buried under 20,000 tonnes of rubble has been branded a 'national scandal'.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion spoke out today to mark the six month anniversary of the day Didcot power station in Oxfordshire collapsed while demolition work was being carried out.

Demolition workers Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, and Chris Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, have been missing since the disaster on February 23.

The fourth man killed, Michael Collings from Teesside, was recovered at the time of the collapse.

Ms Champion said: “I am so frustrated that the men are yet to be found. It is a national scandal that six months on their grieving families are still unable to bury their loved ones.

“The families of the men killed have been through immense psychological torture; firstly not being informed for hours that it was their loved-ones who were missing, then a three week

halt on the recovery and another pause for weeks while it was decided how to bring down the remaining structure.

"The families have had to fight to keep the recovery on track, they should never have been forced into this position. They are as much victims of this disaster as their men who died.

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"Once the men are home, there will be serious questions to be answered by all those involved and I won't rest until I get satisfactory answers.

“It is completely unacceptable that these men, carrying out their work in good faith, have paid with their lives.

"The Health and Safety Executive must review its procedures and regulations where demolitions are concerned. Demolition work can of course be dangerous, but every effort must be made to ensure the safety of workers and to prevent similar incidents in the future. If we don't learn from this disaster we are failing to honour the men who died.”

The Didcot A plant, owned by RWE Npower, closed in 2013 and demolition work was underway when the boiler house collapsed.