‘It’s torture’ – Family of Rotherham demolition worker still waiting for answers three years after power station collapse

The family of a Rotherham demolition worker killed while working at Didcot Power Station say they are still waiting for answers - three years since his death.

Monday, 25th February 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Monday, 25th February 2019, 12:22 pm
The collapsed boiler house at Didcot Powe Station. Picture: Thames Valley Police.

Gail Cresswell’s husband Ken, 57, died when the boiler house he was working on collapsed with him trapped inside on February 23, 2016.

Now, three years after the incident, she said everyday was ‘torture’ as the family await answers as to what caused the collapsed.

The collapsed boiler house at Didcot Powe Station. Picture: Thames Valley Police.

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Mrs Cresswell, from Clifton, Rotherham said: “We are still none the wiser. It's just the same over and over again. It’s still under investigation and that’s all they’ll tell us.

“It’s torture in itself. We are are just left waiting all the time. It’s been three years now and we're still none the wiser and still living in limbo.”

Mr Cresswell’s colleagues John Shaw, 61, from Kimberworth, Christopher Huxtable, 33, from Swansea and Mick Collings, 53, from Teesside.

Ken Cresswell

A huge forensic search of the site has resulted in 870 tonnes of material being removed for examination.

Almost 2,000 witness statements have been gathered and nearly 900 tonnes of material has been removed from the site.

Mrs Cresswell said: “It’s happened and it's as if we’ve just got to get on with it. It will never be right whatever happened but to be living like we are is horrible.

“We talk about it a lot and we always ask when will it ever end - it’s torture."

Thames Valley Police and the Health and Safety Executive said they both continued to investigate the circumstances of the collapse.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Hogg, of Thames Valley Police, said more than 870 tonnes of evidence had now been moved to the HSE’s science division facility in Buxton for further forensic examination.

He said: “We continue to express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Michael Collings, Ken Cresswell, Christopher Huxtable and John Shaw who died following the partial collapse at Didcot Power station.

“Our thoughts also remain with those who were injured as well as the community following this tragic incident.

“Thames Valley Police along with our colleagues at the Health and Safety Executive remain committed to obtaining answers and justice for those who have been affected.

“A dedicated team continues to investigate manslaughter and Health and Safety offences.

“We are doing everything in our power to obtain the answers that they so rightly deserve as quickly as we are able, balanced with our duty to explore all avenues to obtain those answers.”

Sarah Jardine, HSE construction division head of operations said: “Working tirelessly alongside colleagues from Thames Valley Police, HSE’s dedicated investigation team remains committed to getting to the truth of what happened for the families.

“The investigation will reveal if any criminal offences have been committed and it seeks to learn any wider lessons for the industry to help prevent anything like this happening again.

“More details of our investigation will be shared as and when we are able to do so.”