Chennai: An 11-storey building that was declared unsafe after an adjacent block collapsed in 2014 was on Wednesday demolished using implosion technique in less than ten seconds, amid tight security.
The building fell like a pack of cards and thick, huge columns of smoke engulfed the area with birds scurrying to safety.
Columns in the 11-storeyed structure were filled with explosive substances and brought down using implosion technique, employing controlled blasting of explosives.
Timer devices were used and the multiple blast was carried out sequentially by using a remote. Columns were drilled and explosive substance was stuffed.
Anxiety prevailed as the demolition was delayed by over two hours.
Kancheepuram District collector R Gajalakshmi had said on Tuesday that the building would be brought down between 2 and 4 pm. However, the demolition was carried out at 6.52 pm.
Before the demolition was carried out, the structure was weakened by removing some portions like walls.
A posse of police cordoned off the area and residents living about 100 meters near the building were requested to keep off and fire tenders and ambulances stationed in the vicinity.
The residents were housed in a nearby hall till the completion of the building's demolition. Traffic diversions were made and power supply in the vicinity was switched off during the time of demolition as part of safety measures.
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.
Subsequently, the adjacent block too was declared unsafe by the authorities. An order for demolition of the unsafe structure had been issued under 141 Cr P C.
When the matter went to the Supreme Court, it allowed the building to be brought down after perusing an expert committee's report.
On Tuesday, in a public notice, the Kancheepuram Collector had said "implosion technique using controlled blasting of explosives will be deployed. All precautionary measures have been taken to ensure that no danger is caused to the people and adjoining constructions."