Didcot towers: contractor outlines next steps

20 August 2019

Demolition contractor Brown and Mason (BAM) has promised a quick investigation into recent events at Didcot A power station in the United Kingdom – but refused to speculate on possible causes.

Didcot 9 web 2

Didcot A power station 

BAM was tasked with taking down the north cooling towers at the site, in Oxfordshire in the south of England, with the job scheduled for the early morning of Sunday August 18.

The mood ahead of the demolition was euphoric, with local media asking residents for their memories of the power station and people heading for vantage points outside the official safe exclusion zone set up by BAM and its client, utility company RWE.

However, things changed, when debris from the explosion came into contact with an overhead power wire, injuring three people and leaving thousands without power in nearby Sutton Courtenay.

A BAM statement said: “During the recent demolition of the north cooling towers at Didcot A power station, a section of protective material came into contact with an adjacent live overhead line, which was well within the safe exclusion zone for the event.

“All aspects of the demolition are currently undergoing a thorough investigation by all of the interested parties involved. This investigation will be conducted as quickly as possible but until all the facts are known and established, there will be no further comments or speculation.

“We, however, wish to make it clear, at no time did any debris from the demolition of the cooling towers leave the safety exclusion zone.”

RWE added: “Yesterday the three cooling towers at Didcot A Power Station were demolished, a section of protective material that was on the outside of one of the cooling towers came into contact with a live overhead line within RWE’s site. SSE have confirmed that this caused a local power cut. We are not aware of debris from the demolition of the cooling towers leaving the safety exclusion zone. It is necessary to get further information from all parties involved. We are also interested in the results of a wider investigation which is going on to find out what has happened in Sutton Courtenay on the local electricity network.”

The site, under the management of a different contractor, was the scene of an accident in its boiler house in February 2016 that claimed the lives of four demolition workers.


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