There have been plenty of demolition failures in history, no matter how easy strapping a bunch of explosives to an empty building may seem. This demolition might just break the record for delayed collapse, however.
Two vacant high rise buildings in Seaforth, Merseyside, England were schedule for implosion on Sunday morning, but after several booms from the first round of explosives, both buildings still stood. Frighteningly, one of the buildings decided to collapse unexpectedly 2 hours later. It’s probably embarrassing for the company in charge of the demolition, but the nearby residents are feeling the brunt of the failure, as they cannot go back into their homes until the second building finally falls. Most were only anticipating a two hour event, so they were woefully unprepared for a long delay.
The second building, dubbed the Montgomery House, was still standing on Monday, even after a partial collapse around 3:00pm local time, a video of which was tweeted by a Liverpool News reporter. There’s some strong language in the video, so it’s not safe for work.
As of Tuesday evening, residents have still not been able to return to their homes, according to the Liverpool Echo, as the building is still partially standing. Many have been forced to stay with family or at nearby hotels until crews can finally knock the building down. Their plan is to bring it down in “phases,” and the company has vowed to make the affected residents as comfortable as possible with hotel accommodations, food, drinks, and other amenities. Even though there’s now a plan, there’s still not a clear timetable for the work to be completed.
For the most up-to-date information, the Liverpool Echo has some great coverage on the developments.
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
In January of 2018, ten construction workers were killed and another eight were injured when a bridge spanning the Chirajara canyon in Columbia partially collapsed. That collapse has since been blamed on a poor design, reports have stated. Last week, the remaining sections of the bridge were demolished in dramatic fashion.
A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of the 100 tallest buildings to ever be demolished. One of the most interesting things that I learned while researching for that article was that although Detroit’s Greater Department Hudson Store was not the tallest building on the list (it was #21), it was the tallest on the list to actually be imploded.
In February, JP Morgan Chased announced their plans to demolish their current 52-story headquarters located in Manhattan. Turns out, when that demolition is complete, it will also break the record for the tallest building ever voluntarily demolished.
One thing’s for sure, the only thing better than one structure being demolished is two structures being demolished at the same time. Late last week, a decommissioned Florida Power Plant saw to the implosion of two 462 feet tall cooling towers in spectacular fashion.
Demolitions by implosion seems like the easiest way to knock down a structure, but there is so much preparation that goes into it that even the slightest mistake can have a huge impact. When smokestacks are demolished correctly, it can be a thing of beauty, like when these two silos in Scotland hit each other midair or when this asbestos filled stack was precisely demolished to fall into a pool of water. Things didn’t go so smoothly for demolition crews in Denmark last week, however.
As we’ve seen in the past, demolitions aren’t all about implosions. There are still many manual demolitions that are carried out by skilled excavator operators. The Victoria Street Bridge in Ontario, Canada is a recent example of that.
It’s been a while since we have shared a demolition video on Construction Junkie. We recently discussed a very high profile demolition project, the tallest voluntary demolition on record, which is schedule to start next year and how it is expected to happen, but no videos. Between the cold weather in most of the country and the general lack of interesting demolitions happening, it’s good to finally be back to feeling normal around here.
A couple weeks ago, JP Morgan Chase announced that they planned to demolish their existing 52-story Manhattan headquarters, which is believed to be the tallest voluntary demolition in history, in order to build a 70 story, 2.5 million square foot building in its place. The move left preservationists upset at the idea of scrapping the nearly 60 year old building and others wondering how exactly they were going to safely demolish a building that tall in such a congested and busy area.
This year saw more videos with environmental considerations taken into account, especially over waterways. Instead of imploding entire bridges, the part that spanned over top of the waterway were manually removed. I've also grown an appreciation for in-depth footage of demolitions that occurred under some interesting conditions. Some of the videos below show some extreme creativity to overcome obstacles.