A spokesperson for site owner RWE confirmed that Coleman & Company will be carrying out the recovery.

Equipment and workers began arriving on site yesterday, amid criticism of the slow progress of the operation so far.

Coleman & Company has previously said on its Facebook page that it is “ready to start once we are allowed to” and that the “decision is not down to us”.

A joint statement from the Health and Safety Executive and Thames Valley Police said: “RWE has today presented a plan to the Health and Safety Executive and Thames Valley Police (TVP) to commence work on the collapsed debris, ready to recover the missing men.

“Starting today, large equipment and people will be arriving on site to start work to enable the recovery operation to resume at the weekend, sooner if possible.

“Progress with the plan over the coming days will be closely monitored by HSE and TVP.

“Our priority remains the recovery of the missing men so they can be returned to their families and to understand what caused this incident.

“Specialist officers from Thames Valley Police continue to support the families and are providing them with regular updates on the progress of this work.”

Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, were last week identified as the three missing men.

The families of the men held a protest at the site on Sunday, criticising the rescue operation so far.

Jade Ali, the partner of Mr Huxtable, said: ““All these meetings that they’re having, nothing’s coming out of them. We’re just getting kept in the dark.

“It’s just disgusting, we need them out. They’ve given up hope on our men and we’re not going to give up hope.”

Michael Collings, 53, from Cleveland, was found dead following the collapse. His funeral was held on Tuesday.

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