homevideo included 9/15/07
Orchestrated Explosion Works For 2 Smokestacks; Trouble With 3rd
BERLIN, N.H. -- Seven people were injured and homes and cars damaged when the demolition of a smokestack in Berlin went awry Saturday morning.
Five adults and two children were brought to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin with fractured ribs, lacerations, contusions, and sprains. All but two were released from the hospital by Saturday afternoon.
While two of the three smokestacks were detonated without incident, the third didn't go smoothly. Workers tried to blow up the stack twice, but both times, the explosives blew out the concrete but not the rebar.
Workers went in with torches, but fire officials said they went "too far" in the weakening process, and the stack began to collapse, forcing workers to flee.
In addition to the injuries, several windshields were cracked by debris, and some homes were damaged.
The city planned to demolish the stacks as a symbol of moving forward from Berlin's industrial past and rebuilding after the paper mills closed down. A raffle was held to select two people to push the button to blow up two of the stacks.
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