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Ironbridge Power Station cooling towers demolished - with VIDEO and PICTURES

By Matthew Growcott | News | Published:

It took less than 10 seconds, but in that time the landmark Ironbridge cooling towers were gone.

The moment the Ironbridge cooling towers came down

Months of planning came down to just a few moments, a series of explosions and then the sudden toppling of the gigantic structures.

The blast was heard from as far as Wolverhampton, with people in Donnington and Muxton reporting a sound like thunder while towers fell.

WATCH the towers come down. Video by Telford & Wrekin Council:

The Ironbridge cooling towers demolition

For 50 years the cooling towers have been a much-loved feature of the Ironbridge Gorge landscape but as part of a new development on the power station site, they needed to be brought down.

Captured on video:

The four 125 metre structures needed to be precisely demolished to control for potential damage to nearby buildings and for the railway that runs near to the cooling towers.

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But Harworth, which owns the site, said it had been a perfect blow down.

Iain Thomson, head of communications at Harworth, said: "It was a long time in the making, but the demolition went entirely to plan.

"We bought the site in June 2018. When we bought it, it accounted for the fact we would be bringing the towers down and we have been working on the demolition plan ever since.

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"We started the demolition of the wider site back in May, and that included the preparation for the demolition of the four cooling towers.

"This is a key milestone in what is a 27 month demolition plan. Even now the cooling towers are down, we have another 20 months of demolition to go."

Gallery - the towers come down:

It has been a massive job getting the cooling towers ready for demolition.

Mr Thomson said: "It's the most technically complex part of the job. Number one is the amount of material we have had to clear out of the towers, which includes the asbestos strips. We've had to remove up to 16,000 tonnes of asbestos.

"Also the way the towers come down. It's right next to a railway line, we have to be very precise.

"It is not only technically complex, but this site is also closer to town centres than our other sites. The level of public interest in this job has been one of the highest I've ever seen.

"There's also the sheer scale of the site. There were four 125m towers – that's half a kilometre of cooling tower. It's a huge job."

See also:

A 350-metre exclusion zone was in place along with road closures.

Residents who lived close to the cooling towers were advised to close their windows, avoid hanging washing out and to keep their children and pets in doors ahead of the explosion.

The hills, roads and bridges around the cooling towers were packed with people, many of them armed with cameras, trying to catch a glimpse of the landmark moment.

The masterplan for the site is expected to be submitted to both Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council before Christmas, and could take about a year to be approved.

Gallery - waiting for the towers to come down:

Some dust was expected to travel.

People with respiratory conditions were advised to stay away from the blowdown and to stay indoors.

Matthew Growcott

By Matthew Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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