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By: Stacey Godbold

5  Tallest Voluntarily Demolished Buildings by Implosion

Thanksgiving week brought me to my hometown of Evansville, Indiana. At 7:00 am, I headed out for breakfast to downtown Main Street where I found the roads blocking off a huge pile of rubble. The tallest downtown building, standing at 18 stories, was demolished.

My first thought was, UGH – I missed it – and only by one day! Then my mind wandered to all the precautions that had to be put into place to safely destroy a building while observing OSHA safety standards.

Contractors blew up the Old National Building with 374 pounds of explosives placed in 746 locations on eight floors. Its’ 18,000 tons of materials dropped to the ground within the same block where it had stood for 51 years. That is impressive!

Video of Old National Bank Demolition – Nov 21, 2021:

There are plenty of ways buildings and infrastructure can get destroyed, from natural disasters to intentional bombing. And while controlled demolition might have some similarities—like explosions and collapsing—it’s a far different beast. It is, after all, controlled. That doesn’t mean it’s any less spectacular though. Here are 5 of the largest buildings humans have blown up (carefully and on purpose).

5  Tallest Voluntarily Demolished Buildings by Implosion

#5 – Landmark Tower. Fort Worth, TX
Height: 380’, Floors: 30
Year demolished: 2006
Abandoned since 1990, later damaged by a tornado in 2000. Cost to renovate the building was deemed too prohibitive.

#4 – AfE-Turm. Frankfurt, Germany
Height: 381’, Floors: 32
Year Demolished: 2014
Demolished for redevelopment of the tower’s site. Tallest building to have been imploded in Europe.

#3 – Jinhua Building. Xi’an, China
Height: 387’, Floors: 21
Year demolished: 2015
Demolished for redevelopment of the tower’s property

#2 – J. L. Hudson Department Store and Addition. Detroit, MI
Height: 439’, Floors: 29
Year demolished: 1998
Demolished after the bankruptcy of J.L. Hudson Department Store, replaced by the Hudson’s Tower in 2017.

#1 – Meena Plaza I. Abu Dhabi
Height: 553’, Floors: 46
Year demolished: 2021
Topped out, but never completed. Tallest & newest building ever imploded.

When the dust clears, a debris pile stands where the structure once stood. During the preparations, the construction workers who participate could be exposed to numerous hazards, including crushing injuries, explosions, electrocution, falls and toxic materials. Using safety software for your mobile equipment inspections can decrease incidents and create more efficient processes. My final thought as I settled in for that breakfast in my hometown was that it seems whether you are building or destroying, workplace hazards need to be taken seriously as part of the process.

Discover more information on Sospes safety software or schedule a call with a consultant.

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