The Avondale Mill Smoke Stack in Pell City, Alabama stood tall for over 112 years before it was set to be demolished last week. It’s accompanying mill, which measured 225 by 640, closed in 2006 and was demolished for scrap 2 years later. The smoke stack gave crews a bit of trouble, as it took 3 attempts to take it down, with the last one almost killing the excavator operator in the process.
After two attempts at imploding the 158 foot tall, 2.6 million pound smoke stack, crews had no luck taking the structure down. ON the third attempt, they brought in an excavator to weaken the base to tip it over. That process worked, but the tower fell directly onto the excavator, with the operator still inside. There was a moment of panic as several onlookers rushed to the get the man out of the cabin, but, in the end, the operator escaped without a scratch.
The operator, Tim Phifer, told WIAT news, “the cab was made for that thing to turn over on top of it, I was safer inside the cab than coming out of it.”
The day following the collapse, OSHA launched an investigation to see how the incident could have been avoided.
The video below, uploaded to Youtube by Kevin Anderson, shows drone footage and an amazing view of the demolition.
Full story: VIDEO: Pell City smokestack collapses on excavator | WIAT News
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.
Construction Junkie has shared a lot of demolition videos. Typically, people line up waiting for the moment when the building explodes with their eyes peeled and cameras ready, just waiting for the perfect video. This video, however, is much different.
Early this year, a landslide caused catastrophic failure to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along California’s famous Highway 1. California Transit officials closed the bridge on February 21st and announced it would be demolished and replaced. Time is of the essence as US News reports that over 400 residents are stranded on one side of the bridge and helicopters have had to bring in food for them. The residents are still able to use the footpaths in the area to cross the canyon.
There’s no doubt that bridge demolitions by implosion are extremely fun to watch, but the fireworks show and big splash into the water below can sometimes overshadow other demolition projects that don’t allow implosion. Priestly Demolition Inc. (PDI) recently won two 2016 World Demolition Awards for one of those projects where implosion was not an option and they have also produced an incredibly detailed video of how they did it.
Since Construction Junkie was conceived in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of construction equipment flip for some really stupid reasons. Like this crane, this other crane, and this third crane dropping a bulldozer. Those are just some of the ones caught on video and they should be enough to convince you not to go out of your way to do dangerous things with a crane.
Rowlett, Texas was hit hard by a tornado in 2015 and the city is still dealing with the effects of it. In the horrible storm, 13 people were killed and over 400 buildings were damaged or destroyed, according to CBS DFW. In a story we covered last year, one Rowlett woman also had her house mistakenly knocked down by a demolition company when addresses got mixed up after the tornado.
We saw some pretty awesome demolition videos in 2016, like this super slow motion bridge demolition and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish an overpass overnight, but this new video is already on top of the leaderboard for best demolitions of 2017.