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article imageTower demolition goes awry, thousands lose power

By Kim I. Hartman     Nov 11, 2010 in World
Springfield - A botched demolition in the US toppled a nearly 300-foot smokestack being demolished at an old Ohio power plant in the wrong direction, knocking down two 12,000-volt power line, sending spectators scrambling for cover Wednesday.
The tower landed on a building housing backup generators. The failed attempt to safely bring down the tower caused a power outage that effected over 4000 customers of Ohio Edison.
No injuries were reported after the 275-foot tower at the unused 83-year-old Mad River Power Plant teetered and then fell in a southeast direction — instead of east, as originally planned — seconds after explosives were detonated.
The electrical lines came crashing down as a crowd of about 25 media members, FirstEnergy Corp. employees, demolition crews and their family members scattered to avoid the live lines.
“It just started leaning the other way and I thought, ‘Holy cow’ ... It was terrifying for a little bit,” Springfield Twp. Fire Chief John Roeder told the Dayton Daily News.
The explosives detonated correctly, but an undetected crack on south side of the tower pulled it backward, said Lisa Kelly, president/owner of Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc.
“It’s property damage and it’s not life,” she said. “That’s the most important thing — that no one was hurt or killed.”
"Demolitions are a highly technical process, (But) it’s not without some uncertainty,” said Tim Suter, FirstEnergy manager of external affairs.
All of the debris landed on the FirstEnergy property and none of it went into the Mad River or onto the nearby railway tracks. An estimate of the cost of the damage wasn’t available Wednesday.
"Nobody's happy with things that go wrong in life, and sometimes it's out of our hands and beyond anybody's prediction. ... We're all extremely thankful no one was injured," Kelly told The Columbus Dispatch.
More about Ohio edison, Mad river power plant, Demolition, Tower falls wrong way, First energy
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