Contractor vows to co-operate with ongoing investigation.
Coleman and Company, the demolition company responsible for the demolition of the Didcot A Power station during the fatal collapse in February 2018, has responded to the statement issued today by Thames Valley Police during a pre-inquest review.
The statement from director James Howard reads as follows:
“…We have heard today from Thames Valley Police, at a briefing to the Oxfordshire Senior Coroner, the current status of their investigation into the deaths of our 4 colleagues at Didcot Power Station in February 2016.
Before I comment on the statement read out by the Police –
I want to take a moment to say again to the families of our deceased colleagues how deeply sorry we are for their loss and the hurt they continue to experience.
The loss of Chris, John, Kenny and Mick has been felt deeply by everyone at Coleman and Company and this tragic accident has had a profound effect on the health and well-being of many of us over the past 2 years.
From the outset, the team here at Coleman’s have actively and openly co-operated with both the Police and Health & Safety Executive.
That collaboration continues – after all, we share a common desire to understand the cause of the collapse, provide justice for the families, and learn lessons for the industry.
As part of the investigation process we have received a formal disclosure from the Police that seeks to support their position that all possible breaches of health and safety legislation, including Corporate Manslaughter, remain under investigation.
Our investigation team and legal advisors share a view that the disclosure provided by the police so far gives no grounds to suggest that we or any of our employees have acted in a way which would associate us with a manslaughter investigation.
What is more, it is clear that Thames Valley Police and the HSE have not yet crystalized a view on the cause of the collapse. Given the size, complexity and nature of the investigation this is, perhaps, understandable but we share in the frustration and disappointment that this has created, and continues to create, for all those affected
At the time of the accident we pledged to share the learning from this tragedy as soon as possible, in the interests of both the families and the wider demolition community.
With that in mind, we commissioned our own investigations which, in our view, clearly show why and how units 1 and 2 of the boiler house collapsed. We believe the findings highlight industry-wide practices that need to be challenged and reviewed.
We now consider it essential to share this learning as a matter of urgency, so that immediate steps can be taken within the industry to prevent future loss of life and so that the families can begin to understand what caused this dreadful accident.
We will therefore shortly be writing to the TVP and HSE investigation team, together with the Oxfordshire Senior Coroner, setting out our position and providing access to the preliminary findings from our investigations.
Thereafter, we are keen to engage with the families and the wider demolition industry at the earliest possible opportunity…”