A spokesman for RWE npower said workers would have had to weaken the building prior to its demolition, which was scheduled for next month.Pictures from the scene showed a significant chunk of a building in the defunct Didcot A site has collapsed, with a large amount of debris on the ground.David Cooke, whose company Thames Cryogenics has a building overlooking the power station said: "Our building shook and as we looked out of the window, the end of the main turbine hall collapsed in a huge pile of dust.

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It ceased generation in March 2013 and hundreds gathered to watch when three of its enormous cooling towers were blown up in July 2014 after dominating the town's skyline for more than four decades.

The total demolition was planned to be completed by the end of the year.

A GMB union official said: "We understand that workers were preparing two boilers for demolition in the coming weeks.

This led to the collapse of a building." Casualties from the scene were taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

• One person dead, five injured and three missing at power station • Major incident declared after turbine hall collapses at Didcot A • Parts of site were being prepared for demolition later this year • Witnesses report hearing huge explosion and buildings shaking • Aerial pictures show huge pile of debris at site that closed in 2013 • It comes 16 months after major blaze at Cooling Tower at Didcot B • Didcot A power station was due to be demolished by end of year Four people are feared dead after a building collapse at Didcot Power Station.

Emergency services declared a “major incident” with one person dead, three missing and five in hospital following the collapse.

The incident took place at about 4pm in the turbine hall of the former coal-fired Didcot A plant in south Oxfordshire, which closed in 2013 and was in the process of being demolished.

It is thought to have been caused by work to to prepare two boilers for demolition.

The fire service advised people in the area to stay indoors, saying that while dust from the collapse had covered "a considerable area" there were no hazardous materials in the building.

Fire engines from Oxfordshire were at the scene, along with specialist search units and further teams from Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service, including six ambulances and two air ambulance helicopters.

The collapse comes just over a year after a major fire struck a cooling tower at the Didcot B power station in October 2014.