Put an angry man at the wheel of a mini-digger and the results will be dramatic. Give him some dynamite and the fun can really start. Nick Jones hunts down the web’s wildest demolition stories
Search term: demolition
Last Wednesday, the national press reported how a disgruntled tenant used a mini-digger to demolish three cars and most of the home of his landlord in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex. It could have been worse. Vincent Frostick, 41, who lives opposite, said: “He asked for a van to be moved so he could take down the final wall, but it wasn’t so he left it.” The next day, arbroath.blogspot.com carried several pictures of the carnage, which suggested that the police description of the house as “severely damaged” was a bit like describing the Titanic as damp underfoot.
On the whole, bloggers seem to enjoy demolition. Indeed there is a whole website, www.implosionworld.com, devoted to the noble art. The homepage is quick to tell us that “Implosionworld.com publishes news, feature articles and non-proprietary technical information”, but you sense from the weight of exclamation marks (“Implosion live!”) that it enjoys its work.
The most notable implosion of recent weeks seems to have been at the Trojan nuclear power plant in Oregon, USA, of 86 photos have been posted at www.flickr.com – the image on the left shows Trojan just before the big kablooey. You Tube (www.youtube.com) also carries a 26-second video of the demolition, which seemed alarmingly quick for nuclear decommissioning. A quick browse told me that it was the cooling tower that been reduced to rubble. The reactor, which was switched off in 1993, is quarter-of-a-mile away. Louis the Pug (louisthepug.com) commented in response to the video: “I find the carefully planned implosion of buildings somewhat artistic, tranquil if you will. Except for that little girl screaming at the top of her lungs in a combination of glee and terror. That was grating.”
One site, www.tdn.com, seemed slightly less excited by the spectacle, even asking bloggers in its discussion forum “What would you do with a 499-foot cooling tower?” “I like a reporter with a sense of humour,” responded blogger Mama mia, before suggesting “… pencils?” Tdn also offered the chance to view the video in reverse under the link: “Does watching a deflating Trojan tower depress you? Well, click here to see it go right back up.” That’s the spirit.
Elsewhere, ptufts.blogspot.com carries the entry “Building 1, Demolition crew 0: Somewhere, an architect is smiling and a demolition engineer is looking for a new job.” This shows footage of a 200 ft building in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, being dramatically turned into … a 180 ft building in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Watch and enjoy as a subnuclear detonation succeeds only in making a building topple slightly before sinking slowly into its own basement. Clearly the work of a demolition contractor who could do with talking to the good people at www.implosionworld.com.
Read Building’s own bloggers at www.building.co.uk/blogs