Ladies light it up…

“Your go-code will be, ‘light it up, ladies.”

The latest explosive demolition has taken place at the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona. And this time, it had a feminine touch.

Three minutes before the explosion, Dykon Blasting CFO Steve Hatch instructed Julie Elliott, SRP Major Projects Contracts Manager, and Roseanna Navarro, SRP Rotational Engineer, to compress the two fire buttons simultaneously. Gary Barras, SRP Director of Special Projects, surprised them with the distinction of setting off the blast.

“When we drove up here, Gary said, ‘Oh, by the way, Julie, you’ve got to get dressed because you’re going to come do this,” Elliott said.

Next came the marine horn three-minute warning. “Your go-code will be, ‘Light it up, ladies,” Ron Gilbert, Dykon’s Vice President of Operations, told the women.

After the one-minute warning came the countdown and call from Gilbert — “Fire in the hole!” — followed by the go-code to blast away.

“It was awesome,” Navarro said. “I didn’t think we’d have that opportunity.”

Read more here.

Spanish silo succumbs…

Controlled blast fells former Holcim plant.

Local residents in Palmones were woken by the sound of an explosion as a disused silo in the town’s industrial zone was demolished in a controlled explosion.

A chilling warning…

“…There’s 250 power plants left here in the US. There’s 300 in Canada. There’s 300+ in Europe. If we’re going just by sheer averages on the 1,500 or so power plants that are going to be decommissioned and taken down, you’re looking at another 150 [demolition worker] deaths…”

That is the chilling warning from a highly-respected American demolition professional and it should give the entire industry pause.

Following a spate of fatal accidents on both sides of the Atlantic during the demolition of power stations and boiler houses Joe Vendetti, Senior Vice President of Industrial Services, Integrated Demolition and Remediation Inc has expressed his fears and concerns for the future.

In a hard-hitting and exclusive interview, he calls for the creation of guidance on the demolition of power plants and boiler houses, says that clients need to allow sufficient time and money to undertake this work more safely, and urges his fellow demolition contractors to walk away from projects they believe to be unsafe.

Given that this is unlikely in these unsettled times, Vendetti also calls upon the industry to produce a global guidance on the demolition of power stations and hung boilers.

It is tempting to suggest that this is closing the stable door after several horses have already bolted. However, with somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 power plants still set to come down around the world, there remains an opportunity for the global industry to rally and to prevent further demolition fatalities like those seen at Didcot, Longannet, Killen and countless others that now live in industry infamy.

During the interview, Vendetti also highlights a media misconception over the role of experience. In the immediate aftermath of the Didcot boiler house collapse, Coleman and Company came under enormous criticism and scrutiny because the company had not previously demolished a power station. However, on the other side of the pond where there has been more than a dozen power station demolition deaths, virtually all of them involved companies WITH previous power station experience.

The global demolition industry has a duty of care for the welfare of its workers. But it also has an opportunity to come together and to ensure that those fatalities are not repeated elsewhere. Furthermore, the onus is upon those in the more advanced demolition nations to set in place teachings that can be applied in less developed demolition regions.

If the global industry acts now, it could prevent future power station demolition deaths. If it fails to do so and there are future fatalities – as Vendetti predicts – then it will have no-one to blame but itself.

A half century of kindness…

Former NFDC chaplain marks 50 years as an ordained priest.

I am a man without religion or spirituality of any kind. But I like to think that I can sense the fundamental goodness and kindness of a person.

Father Denis McGillycuddy is one of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met.

He is the parish priest at St Edward church in Birmingham. I have never been.

But our paths crossed when McGillycuddy was named as chaplain of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors. As a result, I got to spend some time in his company at various NFDC functions both here and overseas.

I also had the privilege of interviewing the man known in UK demolition circles simply as “Father Denis”. And he never let my lack of faith stand in the way.

So, on the day that marks the 50th anniversary of his ordainment, I have burrowed through the Demolition News Towers’ archives to find that interview.

You can read it here.

Drone documents stadium demolition…

Awesome drone footage captures demolition of San Diego stadium.

Drones have revolutionised the way in which demolition is planned and documented. And that revolution continues asa new generation of highly agile drones manned by incredibly talented pilots turn the traditional fly-by into a mini epic.

Case in point – Check out this fantastic film from the demolition of the Qualcomm Stadium (formerly the SDCCU Stadium) in San Diego, California.

Qualcomm Stadium Demolition from Jack Spitser on Vimeo.

NDA presses ahead…

National Demolition Association reimagines the demolition exhibition.

In a week in which the UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors announced that the DemoExpo exhibition was to be postponed till later this year, the Federation’s American counterparts at the National Demolition Association is pushing ahead with a reimagined event that is scheduled to take place in New Orleans in early March.

Two hurt in Chinese demolition accident…

This closed circuit TV footage captures the moment that a wall collapsed onto a supermarket in eastern China’s Jiangxi province as demolition work took place on a neighbouring building.

Local TV reports that the unplanned collapse injured one elderly man and a staff member.

Framework winners announced…

16 firms to share £80 million spoils.

The winners in the bid to be part of an £80 million demolition framework have been announced.

The framework was launched by London housing association Central and Cecil (C&C) Housing Trust, and it will be available for use by any public sector client in the UK needing demolition, site preparation or clearance work.

C&C originally expected to appoint up to 10 firms to the framework. However, sixteen of the 17 firms that tendered were successful in securing places.

The winning firms are 777 Demolition and Haulage, AR Demolition, Bath Demolition, Clifford Devlin, DDS Demolition, Deconstruct UK, Erith, Evolution Enabling Services, Frank O’Gara and Sons, Goody Demolition, Keltbray, O’Keefe Demolition, R. Collard, Safedem, Squibb Group and The Coleman Group.

The framework is set to run for four years and is not broken down into lots.

DemoExpo bumped…

Combined DemoExpo and LetsRecycle Live postponed.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has claimed anther victim as Demolition Expo and Letsrecycle Live have been rescheduled to 15-16 September 2021.

The exhibition was due to be held in May 2021. With uncertainty continuing, the September date has been confirmed by the organisers.

“Following consultations with key stakeholders, the show has been rescheduled until after the summer holiday period,” says Rob Mowat of Environment Media Group. “While there is cautious optimism surrounding the vaccination programme, the health and safety of visitors, exhibitors and the wider community remains our number one priority. We are pleased to confirm the new dates which also allow us time to further develop the show and increase its overall size.”

Body of second worker recovered…

The body of a second worker killed in a power plant collapse in southern Ohio has been recovered, according to his employer.

A spokesman for Detroit-based demolition contractor Adamo Group expressed “tremendous sorrow” in saying loved ones had been notified of the recovery of the body of 47-year-old Jamie Fitzgerald from the Killen Generating Station site in Adams County.

The body of Doug Gray was recovered from rubble last month.

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.