CHENNAI: Almost two and a half years after an 11-storey under construction building collapsed at Moulivakkam in Chennai killing 61 people, its twin tower was demolished in three seconds on Wednesday evening by implosion technology.
The building – called Belief was demolished at 6.52pm. Initially, the plan was to raze it down between 2pm and 4pm. However, the demolition was postponed due to some technical issues.
Eleven ambulances, two fire engines, and two animal ambulances lined the main street along with numerous police vehicles and barricades. Over 500 policemen were deployed and also towing vehicles for two and four-wheelers.
The Kancheepuram district administration and the Chennai city police had taken several safety measures before the building was razed down. Arrangements were made at a marriage hall to provide shelter for people who live in a 100-metre radius of the structure during the demolition. The district collector had declared holidays for schools on Tuesday and Wednesday. The police had blocked traffic on the Porur-Kundrathur road.
Curious onlookers flocked to terraces of buildings in the locality to have a glimpse of the collapsing structure.
Police Commissioner S George inspected the spot ahead of demolition and reviewed security measures. Kancheepuram District Collector R Gajalakshmi and senior officials, including those from Revenue and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, were present.
On 28 June, 2014, one of the two blocks of an under construction residential building at suburban Moulivakkam had collapsed, killing 61 workers and injuring scores of people. That collapsed structure was also 11-storeyed.
Pon Lingam, Chief Executive Officer of Maglink Infra Project Ltd, which bagged the contract to demolish the building, said on Tuesday the building would be brought down in less than 10 seconds. “The reason the demolition took longer to begin was the inclement weather. The contractor wanted more time to test and see that the rain doesn’t play spoilsport,” Kanchipuram collector, R Gajalakshmi said after the demolition.
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