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Essex fire dog involved in Didcot Power Station rescue efforts

PUBLISHED: 13:58 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:58 24 February 2016

An aerial view of Didcot Power Station, Oxfordshire, where one person died and a major search operation is under way for three others after a building collapsed at the power station. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

An aerial view of Didcot Power Station, Oxfordshire, where one person died and a major search operation is under way for three others after a building collapsed at the power station. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

An Essex fire brigade search and rescue dog team has joined teams looking for survivors in the rubble of the collapsed Didcot Power Station.

Kirby the rescue dog with handler Graham Currie, at the scene of a gas explosion in flats in Wellesley Road, Clacton, in April 2012. Photo: Lucy Taylor/ArchantKirby the rescue dog with handler Graham Currie, at the scene of a gas explosion in flats in Wellesley Road, Clacton, in April 2012. Photo: Lucy Taylor/Archant

Firefighter Graham Currie and Kirby the English Springer Spaniel are part of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team based at Lexden, Colchester.

They were called at 11pm last night to join the rescue efforts at the former power plant in Oxfordshire.

Graham, from Kirby-le-Soken, said: “We were one of four dog teams who carried searches of the site overnight as the rescue effort continues.

“The scene there is one of total devastation. The collapsed building covers an area of 600 metres by 50 metres and in places the rubble is 10 metres tall.

“I have never seen anything like it before.

“The dogs carried out a search of the rubble looking for signs of life. None of us found anything but I know the rescue effort is on-going.

“We train for events just like this. When we got the call I was glad we could play a part in helping after such a terrible event.”

One man died and three are missing after the building collapse yesterday afternoon.

Kirby, aged eight years, has been working with Graham since 2012, and helped to find people trapped in debris after flats exploded in Clacton just six days after passing his training.

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