Hertfordshire fire chief leads Japan earthquake rescue

A HERTFORDSHIRE firefighter is leading the UK’s rescue operation in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami that has devastated the country.

Hertfordshire chief fire officer Roy Wilsher has flown to Ofunato, on the country’s east coast, as part of a team of firefighters from across England and Wales sent over to search for survivors from the massive quake and subsequent tsunami that struck on Friday.

Hundreds have been killed, with officials in Japan warning the death toll could rise above 10,000.

So far, there have been no confirmed UK deaths.

There are further complications to the rescue operation with fears growing over a possible meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.


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Speaking from Japan, Mr Wilsher said: “Our priority is searching for survivors and closely monitoring the situation with the nuclear plant, which is less than 100 kilometres away from us.

“There is a lot of devastation all around and this a challenging time for everyone involved. But we will focus on what we are here to do as this is what we train for. I feel privileged to be able to lead a team of highly skilled and professional people, to provide help at a time when the people of Japan need us most.”

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