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IMPLOSION DOCUMENTARY TO AIR WEDNESDAY FEB 8th
new one-hour TV series called "The Blasters"
will premier in the US this Wednesday night, February
8th, at 8:00 pm (est) on the Discovery Channel. The
program represents the first continuous "series"
on structural blasting produced for network television.
program profiles several of the world's most skilled
blasting contractors as they implode buildings around
the globe. Segments for the series were shot in Athens,
Amman, Dublin and London, as well as domestic blasts
in North Carolina, Ohio and North Dakota.
The Blasters is unlike other documentary efforts in
that it follows several companies simultaneously, and
represents a true portrait of what blasters encounter
when imploding large urban structures. Unforeseen challenges
such as security delays, technical obstacles, and even
the occasional structure that doesn't fall down, are
shown with accompanying insight provided by respective
contractors. (The segment featuring Twikenham Stadium
in London is particularly compelling, as blasters were
in the midst of loading explosives when terrorist bombs
were detonated just three miles away in the downtown
district last July.)
does not appear in the program are any contractors
making the usual absurd claims of having "invented
the industry" and other embellished "first
family of this or that" nonsense that has marginalized
many blasting programs in recent decades. Implosionworld.com
took an active role as a consultant on this series,
which aspires to lead by example in showing that blasting
programs don't have to lie or mislead viewers to be
Blasters premiers February 6th in the United Kingdom
and February 23rd in Canada. Premier dates for Discovery
Europe, Discovery Asia and Discovery Australia are scheduled
but have not been publicly announced.
the United States, several of the "Blaster"
episodes will repeat on Sunday afternoon February 26th
at 2:00pm (est).
other blast programming news, a Modern Marvels episode
airing on the History Channel the same night & time
(2/8 8pm) will profile a hotel implosion in Clearwater,
Florida, and a program on National Geographic will feature
a hotel implosion in Miami Beach on February 23rd.
UNEARTHING THE HISTORY OF DEMOLITION
Author: Jeff Byles
2005 Harmony Books / Crown Publishing
by Brent Blanchard / Implosionworld.com
As a 20-year demolition consultant and historian who
was approached by Mr. Byles in 2002 to supply facts
for this book, I had high expectations that it would
provide an entertaining - and accurate - look at the
history of the demolition industry. Thus it was disappointing
to find scores of issues that render this book virtually
useless to the casual reader and offensive to the serious
demolitionist. Its inaccuracies are many and substantial,
and in the age of James Frye/Oprah Winfrey, where repeatedly
sacrificing truthfulness for entertainment value is
exposed as intentionally deceptive, this effort is about
as irresponsible as it gets.
Byles writes that his idea for this book was formed
while watching the twin towers fall on 9/11 and the
resulting demolition activities at Ground Zero. However,
instead of performing research by visiting jobsites
and speaking with experienced demolitionists, the author
openly elected to solicit over-the-top hyperbolic sound
bites ("I have set off more big bangs than anybody
on earth in peacetime") from three or four
self-serving contractors who were willing to pontificate
poignant phrases on demand ("We are seizers,
the building is fighting me, but I've
got to bring her to her knees
[via a] symphony
of failure") in return for gushing favorable
mention (Just one of Mr. Byles' selected demo buddies
is hailed as, "the philosopher king of destruction
part matador, part sage, part connoisseur of collapse
a convinced neurobiologist
the dentist of urban
the Mozart of dynamite
the Guru of
", and many more). Perhaps this
would be warranted and even entertaining, if any of
it were true.
make things worse, Mr. Byles then dovetailed those sound
bites with references to dozens of previously published
articles - many of which themselves are well known to
be inaccurate - and un-researched personal prose to
paint a grand, sweeping verbal extrapolation on the
lack of fact checking for this book is astonishing:
Not counting the first two chapters that cover the well
worn but interesting ground of how demolition was used
to control fires in the 1600s, Guy Fawkes Gunpowder
Plot and various other developments transpiring up to
the 1940s, an astounding 74 of the remaining 231 pages
read as an endless run of long-disproven misrepresentations,
attacks on industry trade publications and mocking ridicule
of virtually all responsible demolitionists worldwide
(when mentioned at all, thousands of contractors outside
of Byles' small cabal of sound bite buddies are dismissed
as "glum rivals" and "detractors",
"skulking around" while engaged in
"industry bickering"). So many quotes
and statements in the book are just plain untrue or
appear wildly out of context, this space doesn't allow
listing them all.
above all, the most inexcusable aspect of this book
is its hypocrisy. At its lowest point, the book takes
several demo contractors to task for two tragic fatalities
that resulted from building implosions in Glasgow and
Canberra, then piles on additional derision with unflattering
quotes and personal commentary. Is this warranted? Perhaps.
However further on, when describing one of several fatalities
suffered by one of his favored sound biters, Mr. Byles
sees fit to hold them completely unaccountable, writing,
"In a freak explosion that remains unexplained
to this day, the dynamite detonated [and killed the
again with that? Mr. Byles, the first rule of blasting
is that a detonation is never, ever unexplained. OSHA
sure found a way to explain it while serving up record
fines for willful safety violations in connection with
the event. Similar biased and hypocritical statements
are made in other parts of the book, and Mr. Byles never
explains why he avoids mentioning the disproportionate
long-term OSHA/safety problems associated with his favored
not a stretch to note that inaccurate statements are
so prevalent in this book, Mr. Byles may find himself
on shaky moral and legal ground if a developer who suffers
an accident on their jobsite ever maintains that they
made their contracting choice in part due to the statements
serves no purpose to mention names of the author's buddies,
because that's not the point. It could be anyone. In
the end the only name is Jeff Byles, who has gambled
his reputation that he could trust his sources as truthful,
and has lost his shirt. By constantly devolving to the
catchiest or kitschiest phrase, bypassing verbal interaction
with more than a handful of demolitionists, and playing
favorites, Mr. Byles not only misses the mark on accuracy
but misses the essence of what it's like to deconstruct
structures every day for a living. Which was supposedly
the point of writing the book. Thus it is difficult
to imagine how a reader will come away from their experience
with a better understanding of this diverse profession.
BLACK EYE FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
detailed review of the recent National Geographic Channel
implosion program titled Demolition Dynasty has
revealed more than 30 significant accuracy errors that
appear to call into question the research techniques
used at the network (click here
to read the complete implosionworld.com review).
conducted a detailed review of the program after receiving
numerous inquiries, complaints and requests for clarification
from various industry veterans, media organizations
and members of the general public.
Dynasty was the first of a three-part series originally
broadcast nationally in the United States in December
2004, and has received additional heavy airplay over
the past four months. The US debut was followed by multiple
airings in the UK through the winter of 2005. The two
companion programs are titled World Record Implosions
and Exploding Las Vegas (both re-work the same
researching the 60-minute program, Implosionworld.com
discovered scores of statements, made via voice-over
narrative and on-screen interviews, that were either
completely unfounded or inaccurate to a degree that
they misled the viewer.
include a wide variety of assertions involving current
world records, contractor performance and safety records,
individual contributions to the industry, the current
state of the industry and the origins of explosive demolition
in general. In each case, statements appearing in the
program were contradicted by substantial existing evidence,
and appeared to be skewed in a manner that favored the
contacted National Geographic Senior Researcher, Genevieve
Sexton, for comment during the course of the review.
Ms. Sexton responded in part, "The goal of our
program was to present a history of CDI's (Controlled
Demolition Inc. / Loizeaux Co.) work. We understand
the implosion industry is a competitive one, and we
hope to represent it in an accurate and unbiased manner."
While offering other general comments, Ms. Sexton stopped
short of commenting on National Geographic's research
protocol or responding to any of the specific inaccuracies
raised by Implosionworld.com.
National Demolition Association Executive Director,
Michael Taylor, and researchers at Guiness World Records
were also contacted for comment during the course of
the review, as they were also profiled making inaccurate
assertions. Mr. Taylor responded in part, "I was
speaking in general terms based mostly on what I've
read and seen on TV, and it is certainly possible that
I was wrong on some of the facts. My job is to promote
the industry, and my heartfelt apologies go out to any
NDA members who feels harmed or injured by my comments."
Guinness World Records, who National Geographic implied
has supplied independent recognition or verification
of the many inaccurate World Record claims appearing
in the program, has yet to respond to repeated requests
a curious repetition of history, Demolition Dynasty
borrowed its name from another National Geographic documentary
of the same name originally released in 1988. The original
version was also roundly criticized by various demolition
contractors at the time for its highly inaccurate portrayal
of the industry, and to this day many veteran blasters
point to the program as the beginning of a deceitful,
manipulative era of documentary filmmaking responsible
for perpetuating many of the false "implosion"
stereotypes still held today.
HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE IMPLOSIONWORLD.COM REVIEW
OF DEMOLITION DYNASTY
CRITICAL OF EXPLOSIVES-WORKER SCREENING
report released earlier today by the US Justice Department
criticizes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms
(ATF) for failing to perform adequate background checks
on more than 600 individuals working in the domestic
report claims that the ATF failed to complete background
checks on many individuals who possessed criminal records,
including some felonies, and that these workers were
permitted access to explosives under "review pending"
status for an average of 299 days.
review found critical deficiencies in the ATF's implementation
of the background check and clearance process that prevented
the agency from ensuring that prohibited persons are
denied access to explosives," the report said.
report also acknowledged the difficulty in monitoring
every individual who handles explosives, noting that
more than 5 billion pounds of explosives are used in
the US each year by a diverse group of industries such
as mining, construction, demolition, fireworks, safety
manufacturing and medical research.
to read other news articles on this subject.
KILLED ON IMPLOSION SITE
demolition worker was killed Saturday while preparing
a high-rise towerblock for implosion in Dublin, Ireland.
worker, an employee of blasting contractor Professional
Demolition Consultancy Ltd. and whose name has not been
released, was reportedly preparing an interior stairwell
for the March 6 implosion of the Sean McDermott Tower
in Ballymun when a large section broke free and collapsed
on top of him.
Health and Safety Authority (HSA) announced a formal
investigation into the incident yesterday.
circumstances of the accident were unusually similar
to the last fatality to befall the explosive demolition
industry, which occurred exactly five years ago. On
February 24, 2000, a 22-year-old employee of Baltimore-based
Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) and another worker
were killed when a large section of a concrete silo
they were drilling for explosives placement broke free
without warning and collapsed on top of them.
that incident, investigators with the US Occupational
Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) eventually
cited and fined both CDI and their contracting agent
for multiple safety violations.
CONVENTION CENTER TO BE BLASTED
exclusive, December 13, 2004-
Officials have scheduled the explosive demolition
of the old Convention Center in downtown Washington
DC for Saturday morning, December 18th.
mammoth 800,000 square-foot structure will be brought
down by Demolition Dynamics of Franklin, Tennessee,
working in alliance with Wrecking Corp. of America
and Goel Services.
officials have been clear to point out that the implosion
will only involve the building's central basement
columns, first floor columns and steel truss roof.
A 20-foot wide section of the structure running parallel
to H Street and most of the perimeter walls will not
be felled with explosives due to the close proximity
of adjacent structures, but will be brought down conventionally
over the following weeks. The Convention Center is
bordered by many high-profile structures, including
the US Treasury Office, US Office of Homeland Security,
US Secret Service, Smithsonian Building, the Grand
Hyatt Washington and Renaissance Washington Hotel.
announcement establishing the scope of Saturday's
demolition phase is apparently related to erroneous
press coverage of another large implosion occurring
a few weeks ago near Boston, at the Fore River Shipbuilding
Facility. Immediately following that blast, two local
TV stations and several local news websites inaccurately
described the implosion as a failure when they witnessed
only two of the three giant bridge and tower networks
being blasted. In reality, the third network stood
directly on the border of an adjoining town, and its
demolition required a separate process of permits
and approvals. Although the structure was never loaded
with explosives and has still not been approved for
demolition as of the writing of this article, the
original inaccurate "implosion failure"
reports were picked up by additional news media and
broadcast across the country.
old DC Convention Center site will eventually be developed
into a parking facility to accommodate visitors to
the new Convention Center that is located one block
to the north.
Williams, former explosives manager of T.W. Ward (Industrial
Dismantling) Ltd, died on March 30th at age 79.
began his career working the coal mining industry
as a shotfirer and progressed to above ground demolition
at the age of 25. Initially using traditional demolition
methods as a site foreman, Fred specialised in industrial
steel structure demolition.
an industry pioneer he soon put his previous explosive
knowledge in to practice and was one of the first
explosive engineers demolish large scale steel structures
by the controlled use of explosives. Fred became a
member of the Institute of Explosives Engineers in
the mid 1970's.
his 40 year demolition career he successfully demolished
hundreds of large industrial structures including
blast furnaces, bunkers, chimneys, cooling towers
throughout the UK.
passed on his vast knowledge of experience to his
son Mick Williams who remains active as Explosives
Manager for Controlled Demolition Group Limited in
STADIUM IMPLOSION DATE SET
Exclusive, February 3, 2004 11:30am
with the Philadelphia Phillies and Brandenburg Industrial
Services, general demolition contractor for the removal
of Veterans Stadium, have set a blast date of March
21st for the explosive demolition of the 32-year old
sports and entertainment venue.
past October, Demolition Dynamics Company of Franklin,
Tennessee was selected as explosives specialty subcontractor
to perform the actual implosion. Teams from Brandenburg
and Demolition Dynamics are currently working six-day
weeks to ensure the structure is safely brought down
prior to the opening of the Phillies new home, Citizen's
Bank Park, which is located just east of the old stadium.
Dynamics is widely regarded as one of the premier implosion
specialists in the world, having performed more full-sized
stadium projects than any other blasting contractor.
In December 2002, the team imploded Cincinnati's Riverfront
Stadium in an impressive effort that left unharmed dozens
of expensive floor-to-ceiling windows in the new Great
American Ballpark located less than 24 feet away.
Veterans Stadium is generally the same size as Riverfront
Stadium, this project is viewed as a more straightforward
endeavor. The closest adjacent homes and liabilities
stand approximately 170 to 350 feet from the closest
blast point, and security sight lines across the Vet's
expansive parking lots are more accommodating that the
dense inner-city environment present in Cincinnati.
In addition, the Philadelphia blast plan calls for the
use of less explosives, as project officials have elected
to increase the scope of conventional pre-implosion
RECORD BLAST TO OCCUR IN OHIO
Implosionworld.com Exclusive, October 17, 2003
Blasting experts at Demtech Inc., Dubois, Wyoming, are
set to break the world record for longest single structure
blast when they demolish a 2,682 foot-long steel truss
bridge in Ohio later this fall.
According to Demtech President Scott Gustafson, the
team will use approximately 62 lbs. of 600-grain RDX
linear shaped charges to fell nine spans on one instantaneous
delay. Demtech felled an identical bridge in two separate
phases in 2002.
When completed, the project will join an impressive
list of current World Record holders including:
Largest Single Structure: Sears Warehouse, 2.7 million
Tallest Free-Standing Structure: Matla Power Plant Stack,
Tallest Supported Structure: CBC Transmission Tower,
Tallest Building: Hudson's Department Store, 439 feet
Most Structures Demolished in Single Blast: Calgary
Medical Center & Stelco Steel Plant, 20
Note: Due to safety and crowd-control concerns, Implosionworld.com
is complying with a request to withhold specific date
and location information until after this project has
been performed. Additional information will be posted
soon in "World Records" and "Blasts From
DEMOLITION GROUP (UK) RECEIVES TOP SAFETY AWARD
October 9, 2003
Director Darren Palin received the prestigious Silver
Helmet Award for Safety on behalf of his firm, Controlled
Demolition Group Ltd. (no relation to CDI-USA) at the
2003 Contract Journal Construction Industry Awards held
last week at London's Grosvenor Hotel.
The honor was particularly noteworthy as it marks the
first time since the award's inception in 1975 that
the Silver Helmet has been presented to a demolition
contractor. Controlled Demolition Group (CDG) was selected
over four of the United Kingdom's most reputable construction-related
firms, Taylor Woodrow, Wates Group, Billington
and Skanska UK.
CDG has reportedly invested more than $4 million in
new safety enhancing equipment such as ultra high-reach
excavators and remote-controlled robotic excavators,
plus an additional $250,000 in various employee health
and training initiatives.
Yorkshire, UK-based company was also recently awarded
the RoSPA Gold Health and Safety Award and the National
Safety Award from the British Safety Council. "We
are always delighted to be recognized for our safety
efforts," said CDG Managing Director Darren Palin,
"but to be awarded the Silver Helmet represents
a major watershed for the demolition industry as a whole."
October 4, 2003
Lowe, former Managing Director of Nottingham Explosives
Ltd., died yesterday after battling a prolonged illness.
He was 71 years old.
As detailed in a previous report on this website, Mr.
Lowe realized a level of success experienced by few
others in the explosive demolition industry. He began
his career in 1954 by blasting concrete bridges and
bunkers as a member of the Explosives Special Forces
division of England's renowned SAS. Lowe's transition
into the commercial sector followed shortly thereafter
when he was contracted to perform numerous explosive
demolition projects for both private and government
clients. He eventually consolidated his team's efforts
in 1972 by establishing Nottingham Explosives Ltd.,
and went on to become one of the founding members of
the Institute of Explosives Engineers in 1974.
In Nottingham's first year of operation it secured a
contract to explosively raze the 53-span Awsworth Viaduct,
a record that reportedly still stands. The firm went
on to enjoy unprecedented success over five decades,
credited in large part to the experience passed down
from Barry to his son, Phillip. Phillip Lowe recently
approved the merger of Nottingham Explosives with another
demolition firm, and he remains active in the structural
blasting industry today.
Barry Lowe's track record and integrity were put to
the test in 2000 when Implosionworld.com was researching
the history of explosive demolition. At the time, Nottingham
Explosives was one of three blasting companies actively
promoting themselves as having felled more than three
thousand structures apiece (with one American firm claiming
upwards of seven thousand). Implosionworld.com openly
questioned the accuracy of these assertions by challenging
each contractor to substantiate their claim in any way.
Of the three, only Lowe possessed the ability to authenticate
his work history. The other claims remain dubious to
Funeral services for Lowe have been scheduled for October
TEAMS RELATE GROUND ZERO EXPERIENCES
Implosionworld.com Exclusive, March 29, 2003
Project Managers from all five primary demolition contractors
that worked to clear the World Trade Center site in New
York appeared together for the first time recently to
answer questions and relate their experiences in a compelling
seminar at the National Association of Demolition Contractor's
(NADC) 30th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida USA.
Several hundred delegates attended the highly anticipated
"no-question-is-off-limits" Q&A session.
Speakers included David Griffin Jr., Vice President of
D.H. Griffin, Inc. and Demolition Consultant for the Ground
Zero site, Mike Richman of Gateway Demolition, Ed King
of Mazzocchi Wrecking, Jon Manafort of Manafort Brothers
and Dennis Dannenfelser of Yannuzzi Demolition & Disposal.
Each firm was responsible for one quadrant of the site's
cleanup during the six months after 9/11.
The panel fielded questions for more than ninety minutes,
ranging from logistical and mobilization issues to payment
for various services, to the emotional toll on their employees
and personal lives. They also recounted dramatic anecdotes
that seemed to reveal as much about their divergent personalities
as the challenges they faced.
Griffin told of how he gathered up his family and drove
through the night to the site from North Carolina upon
hearing the first news reports. He also recalled with
both pride and amazement how workers logged over 3 million
man-hours, in 24-hour shifts, without a single fatality.
King related the extreme difficulties in keeping his entire
fleet of excavators, high-reaches, cranes and other equipment
operating 24 hours a day for weeks on end. Richman described
his team's anxiety in pulling down large unstable sections
of the South Tower, some as tall as 26 stories. Manafort
recounted his crew's desperate attempts to complete the
job by any means possible, including cutting loose a piece
of the North Tower, attaching it to a crane and swinging
it for days to demolish other heavily damaged buildings.
Although every speaker captivated the standing-room only
crowd with various stories, it was Dannenfelser who provided
some of the most compelling observations. Having spent
months coordinating retrieval efforts at the Fresh Kills
Landfill in Staten Island, he spoke of working closely
with the FBI and other agencies in developing various
types of debris filtering machines, including one that
could recognize small amounts of "human material"
for DNA identification. He also spoke of retrieving, "about
10,000 pieces of the airplanes, which I kept in a pile
by my truck for safekeeping."
Each of the speakers commented on the dangers involved.
Toxic smoke, unstable mountains of debris, conflicting
crane "swing zones", and navigating through
hundreds of police and firemen searching for co-workers
- including some who had literally fallen asleep on the
rubble piles - were just a few of the perils the demolition
teams faced on a continuous basis. Several recounted losing
personal friends in the initial collapse of the structures,
while others spoke candidly of teetering on the brink
of losing their wives and families due to the all-consuming
task of seeing the project through to completion.
Another point of interest was the fact that up to $15
million remains to be reimbursed to various contractors
for the cleanup effort. Several speakers described the
extensive damage sustained by their heavy equipment after
running it so long and hard in such an unforgiving environment.
As one explained, "When we went there, nobody was
talking about money
it just wasn't brought up. The
only questions were, 'How much equipment can you get here
and how fast?' Now it's eighteen months later, and the
auditing and adjustments never seem to end. Auditors are
asking why a given man or piece of equipment was needed
on a given day, or if I went out and got three prices,
While the speakers stopped short of criticizing the process,
they said they looked forward to the day when everything
would be resolved.
EXPLOSIVES ACT' ADOPTED
following bulletin has been issued by the Society of
Safe Explosives Act was part of the Homeland Security
Bill which President Bush signed today. Among other
things, it includes licensing of explosives as explained
legislation creates a new category of permit -- a "limited
permit" -- designed for the intrastate purchaser
who buys explosives infrequently and does not intend
to transport or use the explosives interstate. This
permit will allow the purchaser to receive explosive
materials from an in-State explosives licensee or permittee
on no more than six (6) occasions during the period
of the permit. The permit will allow ATF to better monitor
explosives commerce in an effort to enhance homeland
security, but is designed to not be overly burdensome
to legitimate purchasers. The limited permit is valid
for one year and is renewable. ATF intends to set the
application fee for the limited permit at $25.
new legislation requires that all applicants for explosives
licenses and permits submit photographs and fingerprints
so that ATF can perform thorough background checks.
The legislation also requires that all applicants submit
the names and identifying information of all employees
who will possess explosive materials. In this way, ATF
can conduct a thorough background check to ensure that
these individuals are not prohibited from receiving
or possessing explosives. Under previous law, no background
checks were conducted for the employees of businesses
that used explosives. The business owners or managers
were required to be on record with ATF; employees such
as warehousemen and drivers were not. The new legislation
enables ATF to systematically identify and conduct background
checks on such employees to reduce the risk that prohibited
persons will gain access to explosives.
SOLICITING EXPLOSIVE STORAGE NOTIFICATION COMMENTS
US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms is soliciting
comments concerning notification to local fire marshals
and law enforcement officers when explosives are stored
to a bulletin sent to members of the International Society
of Engineers (ISEE), existing regulations may be revised
in an effort to further ensure the safety of emergency
response personnel responding to fires at sites where
explosives are used.
solicitation for comments is apparently preventive in
nature, and does not appear to have been precipitated
by any specific accident or occurrence. Comments may
be sent to ISEE Executive Director Jeffrey Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
read ISEE bulletin
TO BE IMPLODED
implosion of Cincinnati's historic Riverfront Stadium
(aka Cinergy Field) received final approval from County
Commissioners yesterday, and project managers with O'Rourke
Wrecking Company have announced a blast date of December
stadium was built in 1969 and served as home field for
football's Cincinnatti Bengals and baseball's World
Champion Reds, the latter of which earned a fearsome
reputation as "The Big Red Machine" during
Wrecking has subcontracted the actual implosion process
to D.H. Griffin Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina.
Griffin's explosives division, led by blasting veteran
Steve Pettigrew, garnered acclaim in 1997 when they
became the first team to implode a full-sized sports
facility (Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium). The team
went on to successfully demolish a large section of
Toronto's Exhibition Stadium in 1998. According to several
industry officials, the two projects continue to serve
as the benchmark for large-scale blasts, as they stand
today as the only incident-free stadium implosions performed
in North America.
event is currently scheduled to occur at 8:00am, and
officials are planning to impose a 500-foot security
perimeter around the site.
Implosionworld.com Exclusive, August 1, 2002
Steve Brown, Editor of Demolition & Recycling International
(D&Ri), has announced his departure from the magazine
following the October 2002 issue.
D&Ri is published bi-monthly by KHL Group, East Sussex
UK. In recent years, the magazine has served as a reliable
source for news and information pertaining to the international
According to D&Ri Editorial Director, Paul Marsden,
the selection of a new Editor for the magazine is expected
to proceed smoothly. "We are currently exploring several
options," Marsden said, "and expect to name a suitable
replacement in the near future." Brown, along with a
business associate, Ben Shaw, recently formed SE10 Creative,
an advertising/public relations agency.
Brown told implosionworld.com the fledgling company
will be targeting construction, demolition and heavy
equipment clients with an eye towards exploiting their
extensive knowledge of these markets. The firm recently
established offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA and
Tunbridge Wells, Great Britain, UK.
9, 2002- Organizers of the 2002 International Demolition
& Recycling Exposition (IDREX) have announced an
indefinite postponement of the event.
this afternoon, organizers released a statement that
began with the following:
was to be this year's prime event for the world's demolition
and recycling industry, IDREX 2002, has been postponed
following feedback from industry's equipment manufacturers.
Despite almost industry-wide support for the event when
it was first announced in 2000, the current difficult
economic climate has put pressure on budgets and many
of the sector's top manufacturers found that they could
not give the support they would have liked to the event.
spokesman for IDREX organiser, IPI, said, "We have
had to take the difficult decision to postpone IDREX
2002 despite some great initial support for the event.
We feel that it would be better to postpone the event
rather than try and hold a conference and exhibition
which might not meet everyone's high expectations. We
will now be talking to the exhibitors that supported
IDREX 2002, and those that couldn't through budgetary
pressure, to establish when the industry would like
the next IDREX event to take place.
2002 was due to take place in Maastricht in The Netherlands
in September of this year. The event was to be held
alongside two other shows, APEX (for the world's access
platform industry) and RentEX (for the European Rental
industry). Both APEX and RentEX are going ahead and
the show organisers report that both events will be
record size this year.
EXPLOSIVES AQUIRED BY CDG
Exclusive, April 5, 2002
Explosives Ltd. Managing Director Phillip Lowe has announced
that his firm will be bought out by Yorkshire, England-based
Controlled Demolition Group (CDG) by the end of next
week. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
of an impending Nottingham-CDG deal had been circulating
within the industry for weeks, and the sale of the UK's
third-most active structural explosive demolition contractor
to the world's most active firm is expected to solidify
CDG's grip on the majority of "blowdown" work
in Western Europe. Although several additional explosive
demolition companies continue to operate successfully
in the region, it is widely believed that only Germany-based
Verkehrsbau Union (VBU), parent company of Cardem Demolition
and several other contracting firms, is capable of completing
a comparative volume of work.
its 30 years of existence, Nottingham Explosives realized
a level of success experienced by few others in the
industry. Founder Barry Lowe began his career in 1954
by blasting concrete bridges and bunkers as a member
of the Explosives Special Forces division of England's
renowned SAS. He then began working commercially, completing
numerous explosive demolition projects for a variety
of private and government clients. Lowe eventually consolidated
his team's efforts in 1972 with the establishment of
Nottingham Explosives Ltd., and went on to become one
of the founding members of the Institute of Explosives
Engineers in 1974.
the firm's first official year of operation, it secured
a contract to explosively raze the 53-span Awsworth
Viaduct, a record that reportedly still stands today.
The Nottingham team went on to enjoy unprecedented success
over the next three decades, demolishing approximately
3,000 structures* and maintaining a reputation as one
of the most active and experienced blasting contractors
in the world.
Lowe personally managed a large portion of Nottingham's
work, the company's overall sales volume was achieved
with considerable assistance from his son, Phillip,
who started with the firm in 1981 and became a Director
in 1986. Some of the younger Lowe's more recent challenges
have been the explosive demolition of two 20-story apartment
buildings in Birmingham and the felling of a 650-foot,
125-year-old viaduct in Leicester.
has stated he intends to stay active in the industry
as part of the Controlled Demolition Group team of explosives
engineers. He recently told implosionworld.com, "Blasting
is and always will be my life's work. I'm looking forward
to spending more time applying my experience in the
field and less with the daily routine of managing a
is implosionworld.com policy to verify all specific
numerical claims related to blasting performance prior
to reporting them as fact.
CONTROLLED DEMOLITION GROUP ANNOUNCES NEW OWNERSHIP
Exclusive, October 25, 2001
Demolition Group, Ltd. (CDG) Managing Director Charles
Moran has informed implosionworld.com of his planned
retirement from the company effective November 2001.
Moran established CDG in 1981, and over the following
two decades built the firm into one of the most successful
and prominent demolition contractors in the world. The
Yorkshire, England-based company currently employs 140
people and blows down more buildings annually
than any other contractor, having explosively felled
over 40 high-rise towers and numerous other structures
in 2001. In September, Controlled Demolition Group was
awarded UK Contractor of the Year honors
for the second consecutive year.
new ownership will include current Commercial Director
Darren Palin and Steve Forster. Mr. Moran reports that
he will maintain close ties with the company, continuing
on as a consultant into the foreseeable future.
ENGINEERING FIRMS ASSIST WITH WORLD TRADE CENTER VIBRATION
Exclusive, September 14, 2001
September 11, 2001, several independent vibration monitoring
firms were recording ground vibration data on construction
and demoliton sites throughout New York City. These
seismographs recorded data that relates to the terrorist
attacks that morning, and Protec Documentation Services,
along with several other firms, is in the process of
pooling this data.
goal of this collective effort, spearheaded by Dr. Ed
Walter & Associates, is to help ascertain which,
if any, structures located beyond the actual World Trade
Center site may have been affected by the event.
thoughts and prayers are with our friends and families
who have been touched by this tragedy, and we appreciate
the calls and e-mails from around the world checking
on the well-being of our employees.
ESTABLISHES NEW FIRM
Exclusive, August 17, 2001
Kelly, a 25-year veteran of the explosive demolition
industry, has left the employ of Engineered Demolition
Inc. to form a new structural blasting firm.
Explosive Demolition Inc. (AED) established operations
in Hayden Lake, Idaho earlier this month, and the blast
team has since felled structures in Missoula, Montana
and Sydney, Nova Scotia. AED has at least one project
scheduled for September, the explosive demolition of
the Hygeia Refrigeration Building in Elmira, New York.
ROMANIA BLAST GOES AWRY
2001- An explosive demolition project in the town
of Flaminzi, Romania has reportedly failed to fell the
intended structure while unintentionally damaging 24
reports state that the blast caused heavy damage to
windows in buildings located within a 500-foot radius,
and caused the roofs of two nearby buildings to collapse.
reports do not say whether there were any injuries resulting
from the event, nor do they name the blast team or describe
the structural condition of adjacent structures prior
to the blast.
here to read report from National Monitor (Romania)
to read report from National Monitor (English Version)
to read report from Ananova.com
HANDHELD RADIO CAUSES PREMATURE DETONATION
2001- A member of the International Society of Explosives
Engineers, Gordon Revey, has reported that a 4-watt
handheld radio recently caused the detonation of an
electric detonator on a U.S. blasting project.
to Mr. Revey, the blaster lost several fingers
and incurred severe damage to both hands as a
result of the event. Mr. Revey also reports that the
radio was closer than the minimum distance mandated
by the Institute of Explosive Makers Radio Frequency
Table for the radio in question. The names of the blaster
and his employer, as well as the accident location,
were not disclosed.
here to read ISEE blastserve safety alert
OSHA COMPLETES INVESTIGATION INTO FATALITIES
2001- OSHA has reaffirmed fines and violations related
to a demolition accident that killed two workers at
the Monterey Mine near Albers, Illinois in February
2000. The fines and violations had been contested by
both of the firms cited in the mishap.
violations stem from the premature collapse of a section
of a 165-foot tall concrete silo that was being prepared
for explosive demolition. Killed in the collapse were
22-year-old Kevin Auchter, an employee of Controlled
Demolition, Inc., and 29-year-old Scott McGee, an employee
of RBS Excavating. Both CDI and the projects general
contractor, Ciminelli Services Corp.were reportedly
cited under Standard 19260021/Construction, Safety
Training and Education.
According to OSHAs website, the case was officially
closed last month.
here to review OSHAs summary of this incident
RESEARCHERS STUDY DUST GENERATED BY IMPLOSION
2001- Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public
Health have issued a press release on the hazards of
breathing dust at implosion projects.
Timothy Buckley, PhD, recently led a team that tested
the density of dust particles following the implosion
of a 22-story high-rise in Baltimore, Maryland. Their
research found, in part, that during the 20-minute period
after the blast, average particle levels downwind from
the blast were two to ten times higher than the standard
for outdoor air set by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. Another researcher, Peyton Eggleston, MD, concluded,
These airborne particles, depending on their size,
concentration, and chemical composition, have been shown
to be harmful to health. The press release concludes
by offering recommendations for reducing exposure to
Note- This study fails to address a fundamental issue,
which is comparing the effects of dust generated from
explosive demolition to that generated by conventional
means (wrecking ball, heavy equipment, etc.). The report
seems to imply that if there were no implosion, there
would be no dust emanating from a demolition site. Over
the past several decades, one of the most noteworthy
advantages to explosive demolition has been recognized
as the ability to release dust particles at a pre-determined
time to allow nearby citizens to take appropriate precautions.
here to read Johns Hopkins University press release
REPORT DETAILS FAILED DUBLIN BLOWDOWN
2001- A comprehensive report detailing facts pertaining
to the St. Vincents Hospital blowdown in Dublin,
Ireland was recently presented to a joint meeting of
the Republic of Ireland Branch of the Institute of Structural
Engineers and the Structures and Construction Section
of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland at TCD, Dublin.
report, authored by Declan Monaghan (Arup Consulting
Engineers), Robert Johnstone (Robert Johnstone Associates)
and Charles Moran (Controlled Demolition Group), details
various calculations and decisions leading up to the
January 21, 2001 blowdown in which the 13-story Nurses
Quarters structure failed to collapse as initially planned.
The structure was felled by crane and wrecking ball
later the same day with no adverse effect to surrounding
here to read relevant pages of the final report
(Adobe PDF file, 2.4MB)
USA VS. LOIZEAUX FEDERAL TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS RELEASED
2001- Transcripts recently released under the Freedom
of Information Act have provided an inside look at the
Governments case against Controlled Demolition
Inc. and its principals.
February 2000, a federal grand jury indicted Mark Loizeaux,
Douglas Loizeaux and Controlled Demolition, Inc. on
charges of falsely reporting campaign contributions
by asking family members and CDI employees to donate
to the campaign of State Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. According
to the Washington Post, prosecutors alleged the donors
then received money from the company to cover their
checks, and the Cummings campaign recorded the money
as individual contributions. Other published reports
noted that Cummings, an attorney by trade, was privately
retained by CDI prior to being elected to congress.
Baltimore Sun reported that the illegal contributions
were alleged to have taken place between 1996 and 1998.
The Loizeaux brothers and CDI were eventually acquitted
of the charges in September 2000.