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28 October 2014

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Going with a bang
A pile of rubble
The aftermath of the demolition

A TV documentary has been made which includes footage of the demolition of two Leeds tower blocks. Cameras from BBC's Close Up North programme followed Controlled Demolition as they reshaped the skyline.

video Whinmoor flats (28k)
Whinmoor flats (56k)
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The documentary team followed the company as they demolished blocks of flats at Whinmoor in east Leeds.

In Post-War Britain architects considered high rise housing to be the answer to the country’s housing problem.

The tower collapsing
The tower collapsing

Now many tower blocks have become untenable.

There is a glut of council housing stock and some flats have become havens for crime and drug dealing.

Across the country there are some 500 tower blocks that will be demolished over the next 20 years.

Controlled Demolition have become one of the country’s leading demolition firms.

The Company’s MD Charles Moran said: "Gravity is a wonderful thing - and what you’ve got to do is allow gravity to work.

A camera in the building
A camera ready to capture the demolition.

"Most buildings are designed to resist gravity - it’s our job to identify the bits that are doing the resisting."

Chief explosives engineer Dick Green tells the programme: "There’s hasn’t been a book written about how much explosives to put into a building.

"Every building is different. We use explosives like a tool."

It has been a sensitive time to be an explosives engineer following events in New York on September 11 2001.

Mr Green says: "Pilots have gone back into jets, city traders have gone back into office blocks and explosive enigineers have continued to bring down buildings. Life has to go on."

You can watch video of the Whinmoor flats being demolished by clicking on the video option at the top of this page.


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