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No demolition work scheduled on day of tragedy…

Investigations ongoing after accident that killed young family.

City officials in Bonney Lake say no demolition work was supposed to take place along a Highway 410 overpass on the day that a concrete barrier fell, crushing a young family as they drove underneath the span in a pickup.

“We are still looking into whether the demolition plan was followed,” says a statement issued by Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson. “The contractor’s schedule did not indicate that bridge demolition would be occurring on April 13 (the day of the tragedy).”

Crews were working on a $1.8 million project to build a new pedestrian walkway along the Highway 410 overpass when the accident happened, sending a heavy concrete barrier crashing down onto Angeline Road below.

The mayor’s statement says work is being temporarily suspended on the project while the accident is investigated – and also out of respect to the family and friends of the victims, Josh and Vanessa Ellis and their baby 8-month-old baby Hudson.

Read more here.

Buffalo hospital to go out with a bang…

Developer eyes implosion as quick solution.

The hospital tower that dominates Gates Circle may be taken down in a single dramatic event this summer, rather than a long and slow process over weeks or months.

“There’s only two ways to take buildings apart. Either you pick them apart or you blow them up,” said Marc Romanowski, an attorney for the developer of the property. “Picking them apart is better for smaller buildings. … Taller buildings are better to implode.”

Officials with TM Montante Development, which owns the property, haven’t decided on how to bring down the 10-story main building of the former Millard Fillmore Hospital.

But they “think it will be heading most likely to implosion,” Romanowski told the Buffalo Planning Board on Tuesday morning .

Implosions are relatively rare in Buffalo and typically draw large crowds. The last notable local implosion occurred at least eight years ago.

Read more here.

Comment – The ego has landed…

Tyrants with too many statues and demolition firms with too many awards – Same thing.

It’s going to take a paragraph or two to get to the crux of this but bear with me – I do have a genuine, demolition-related point to make and I shall try to make the journey as swift and as entertaining as possible!

I have long believed that the national and international security services would do well to monitor the activities of the sculpting community. For there is no clearer indication of a despot in the making than the erection of countless statues in their own likeness. Stalin did it; Mao Tse Tung did it; Kim Jong Il did it; and Saddam Hussein liked nothing more than posing for a sculptor after a hard day’s chemical weapons testing and citizen poisoning.

Such people are clearly endowed with an ego and a vanity every bit as large as the gaping void in their humanity. To my mind, therefore, anyone ordering six or more statues of themselves is quite possibly a nascent tyrant that could benefit from some political, military or sniper intervention.

What in the Blue Hell does all this have to do with demolition, I hear you ask?

Well, if an excess of statues is a pointer to tyranny, then an over-concentration on industry awards is possibly a sign that a demolition company executive’s focus is geared more towards his own insatiable ego than it is on the company’s general wellbeing.

How else would you explain the large and growing portfolio of demolition companies that win an industry award one month and a trip to the bankruptcy courts the next?

There are exceptions. When she’s not posing for a new stamp or five pound note, our own dear Queen is not averse to the odd sculpture or 12 and yet she manages to go about her working day without torturing her subjects. Similarly, the likes of Erith and Cantillon have managed to rack up multiple awards without losing the plot. And, even though it has recently been forced to build an extension on its trophy cabinet, the folks at AR Demolition have remained both sane and solvent too.

But the evidence is there for all to see. In 2013, EDS was named the Construction News Demolition Contractor of the Year. Less than 12 months later, the company had vanished. Masterton -shortlisted in the Construction News Specialist Awards 2014 and in the awards of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors in the same year – went the same way. And although it did not attend and is currently fighting its way back to financial solvency, Anthony O’Connor was shortlisted by Construction News this year; the awards ceremony taking place as the company was negotiating with its creditors over its Company Voluntary Arrangement.

So yes, it is entirely possible to chart a contractor’s financial performance via its annual statement and company accounts. But a misplaced concentration on winning otherwise meaningless trophies should set alarm bells ringing.

And if any national leader gets a bit too busy in the sculpture acquisition business, you might want to keep an eye on them too.

Demolition fire could burn for days…

Blaze started after shredder explodes.

A fire that broke out at a demolition yard in Colmworth this afternoon could burn for several days yet, according to the company which owns the site.

A total of 47 firefighters are continuing to tackle the inferno which started at ABC Demolition in Mill Road, Colmworth, at around 1.06 pm today.

Bedfordshire on Sunday understands that the blaze is the result of 500 tonnes of shredded timber catching fire after a shredding machine blew up. During the explosion the conveyor belt from the machine flipped over and landed on a large pile of wood.

Operations manager at the wood recycling firm, George Devlin told BoS: “We had the shredder going in the back and another one on demonstration, we turned them off and went for a cup of tea. The next thing we knew it had just exploded.

Read more here.

Video – Windsor Park stand facing demolition…

Damaged stand at home of Northern Ireland football team scheduled for demolition.

The damaged West Stand at the famous Windsor Park stadium is to be demolished.

Cracks were found in the structure following Northern Ireland’s 2-1 win against Finland in the Euro 2016 qualifiers during which some 4,000 spectators filled the stand.

Video – Port Mann bridge almost gone…

Blast heralds final chapter for Fraser River bridge.

Last week, some of the final pieces of the Port Mann bridge that has spanned the Fraser River since 1964 were blasted. The implosion is captured in the video (below).

Explosives were used to carefully bring down the last girders on the Surrey side of the old bridge.

The three 70 metre long, 600 tonne girders were dropped onto the ground where they will be cut and removed for recycling. The demolition was part of ongoing dismantling work to remove the original Port Mann Bridge. Bridge demolition work is expected to continue through 2015

Philly sound silenced forever…

Demolition work begins on famed record company building.

Demolition work began Saturday at the fire-damaged former headquarters of the famed recording company that created what came to be called “The Sound of Philadelphia.”

The Philadelphia International Records building is being torn down to make way for a 47-story tower that will be part hotel, part luxury condominiums. Adjacent buildings were torn down earlier, and Saturday’s work began to dismantle the three-story former record company building.

Producers Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell are credited with having created the lush acoustics of 1960s and ’70s soul music that came to be known as the Sound of Philadelphia, working with artists such as Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle and Lou Rawls.

Gamble and Huff’s songs include the O’Jays’ “Love Train,” Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” and McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”

The offices were heavily damaged in 2010 by an arson fire that ruined about 40 percent of Philadelphia International Records’ memorabilia — including gold and platinum records.

Read more here.

Investigations underway at site of Keltbray collapse…

Work suspended following catastrophic collapse that left one man injured.

Health and Safety Executives will begin the painstaking task of picking through the rubble following the unplanned collapse on a Keltbray site in London yesterday.

One man was injured when part of the building and a large section of scaffolding fell at the central London site adjacent to the London School of Economics. Several news reports suggest that the injured man was a demolition worker but this has yet to be confirmed by Keltbray.

The London Fire Brigade was called to the site near Aldwych when part of the building and its surrounding scaffolding collapsed injuring a demolition worker.

The brigade said the building collapsed in on itself rather than onto the central London streets below.

Station Manager John Snelgrove said: “When the first crews arrived they found the building, which was under refurbishment had collapsed between the fifth and second floors.

“Firefighters gave first aid to an injured man on site until ambulance crews arrived and also helped police put safety cordons in place and to evacuate people from the immediate area.”

The collapse of the upper floors brought down demolition machinery and tonnes of rubble causing the lower floors to give way.

In an official statement, managing director Paul Deacy, said: “We can confirm there has been an incident at Portugal Street, where Keltbray was working on the demolition of a building when part of the building and scaffolding collapsed. One man has been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Fortunately nobody else was hurt. Emergency services were immediately called to the scene and all people in the vicinity were evacuated. All operations on site have been suspended while we work with all the relevant authorities to investigate and fully understand the circumstances of the incident.”

Breaking News – LSE students evacuated as building collapses…

Air ambulance called following Aldwych collapse.

Some 200 people, including workers and students at the London School of Economics (LSE) have been evacuated from the area around Aldwych after a building in Portugal Street collapsed. The building is also close to the Royal Courts of Justice and Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Witnesses reported a “large crash” as the seven-storey building, which was under demolition, collapsed. At least one person is thought to have been injured.

The London Fire Brigade said it had two ambulances, three fire rescue units and around 30 firefighters and officers on the scene. It added that it has set up safety cordons.

Read more here.

More news as we get it.

Video – Palace goes pop…

Implosion fells Republican palace in Yemen.

As the watching world will know only too well, Yemen is a country that is all too familiar with the sound of explosions. But at least this one was planned and controlled.

That said, we’re using the word controlled in the loosest possible sense as you will see when the blast happens.

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