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Old 09-18-2007, 09:12 AM
 
4,567 posts, read 9,598,880 times
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Explosion Of Berlin N.H.Smokestacks Injures Several
LiveLeak.com - Explosion Of Berlin N.H.Smokestacks Injures Several(raw video)

I feel bad for the people injured, but I have some questions:

- Why were 2 children injured?
- Why was the public allowed to stand so close to a demolition?
- Why did workers go in to a falling tower with torches?
- What was their exit plan when they cut the tower's rebar and it started to fall?

Sounds like so many things went wrong with this operation. I hope they investigate, fines are issued to the demo company and these mistakes are prevented in the future.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:41 AM
 
4,567 posts, read 9,598,880 times
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Two stacks go down easily but third proves a challenge
Seven people injured and property damaged

Welcome to The Berlin Daily Sun (http://www.mountwashingtonvalley.com/BDS/newsbds.shtml - broken link)

Barbara Tetreault

BERLIN— Berlin’s symbolic goodbye to its paper making days proved to be as unpredictable as the industry itself was for much of its history.

Three of the Burgess mill’s towering smokestacks were set to be demolished within seconds of each other Saturday morning.
Two of the stacks went down perfectly to the clicking of thousands of digital cameras. But the third stack was a different story. It remained standing after two charges of explosives and went down only after workers cut the steel rebars inside the stack. Then when the stack hit the ground, debris was thrown hundreds of feet, spraying rocks and bits of metal into a nearby neighborhood. Seven people suffered injuries ranging from bruises to a fractured rib. Windshields and vehicles were damaged and several homes had holes punched in their siding.

Scores of invited guests gathered under tents on the mill property while all over the city people lined up at viewing spots in the pouring rain to watch the historic event.

As planned, shortly after nine a.m. the fire siren sounded, and N.H. Commissioner of Resources and Economic Development George Bald pushed the button to set off the explosives on the first stack set to go—the 320-foot high central steam stack. Just as the experts had said, the public first heard a big kaboom and then short seconds later the stack fell, landing right on target.
Bald flashed a thumbs up sign.

“I did love pressing the button,” he said.

Phil Belanger said a million things went through his head as he drove from Raymond to Berlin early Saturday morning to push the second button. As he thought about the mill and his hometown, he said he worried he would succumb to his emotions when his turn to press the button came.

“It’s very bittersweet,” he said.

But he retained his composure and the second stack, the 280-foot No. 8, went down without complications. Watching carefully were Laidlaw Energy LLC. head Michael Bartoszek and consultant Charlie Bass. The stack was next to the chemical recovery boiler Laidlaw is hoping to purchase and convert into a biomass plant.

But complications developed with the third and final stack, the 320- foot lime kiln. Marlene Russ of Errol, the other winner in the raffle, pushed the button. The explosives went off but the stack remained standing. While the crowd waited, officials of Dykon Explosives viewed videos from the scene and set up a second load of explosives. After about 45 minutes, the siren sounded and Russ pushed the button a second time. Again the stack remained standing.

“I guess I won’t have a career as a button pusher after all,” Russ quipped.

Looking less than happy were officials of Dykon and North American Dismantling, which owns the property. Dykon President Jim Redyke went to the scene with a spotter and personally used a cutting torch to cut some of the remaining steel rebar. As he felt the stack give, he moved away and it went down.

Redyke said he has demolished hundreds of stacks in his career and this is the first time he had one refuse to drop.

"It did not go 100 percent as planned. It was an unusually tough stack,” he said.

The stack fell without warning and the force of its landing sent rocks and debris flying over to the Burgess Street neighborhood.
Sherry Fontaine was standing at the stop sign on Burgess Street with her granddaughter Hannah Tremaine and Hannah’s friend, Trevor Theriault, when the stack went down. Her daughter Penney Tremaine said dust and rocks were flying all over and a rock hit her mother in the back. Fortaine was taken by ambulance to Androscoggin Valley Hospital where it was determined she had a fractured rib.

“The rocks were just flying all over the place,” said nine-year old Trevor Theriault. He described the scene as “scary.”
Armand Fortier had been watching the demolition seated in his truck parked on Burgess Street. He said there was panic on the street once the debris started flying.

“As soon as I saw rocks bouncing off my hood, I ducked,” he said. He said people outside were ducking behind his truck to avoid being hit. The windshield on this truck was cracked and there were chips and dents on front of his truck.
Other injuries were described as cuts and bruises.

Many who gathered to watch the demolition expressed mixed emotions. The paper industry has been the mainstay of the local economy for over a century and the demolition of the pulp mill is a vivid symbol that those days are over.

“Because it’s so visual it leaves a big hole,” said Priscilla Hauser, of Glen Falls, N.Y. “There’s a lot of sadness for the local people.”
But many chose to look ahead at what the future might hold for Berlin without the image of being a paper mill town.

“But one door closes and another one opens,” noted Sue Menter.

“I’m sure it’s going to be for the better.”
(Berlin Daily Sun reporter Craig Lyons contributed to this story)
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:28 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,483 times
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Default response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 399083453 View Post
Explosion Of Berlin N.H.Smokestacks Injures Several
LiveLeak.com - Explosion Of Berlin N.H.Smokestacks Injures Several(raw video)

I feel bad for the people injured, but I have some questions:

- Why were 2 children injured?
- Why was the public allowed to stand so close to a demolition?
- Why did workers go in to a falling tower with torches?
- What was their exit plan when they cut the tower's rebar and it started to fall?

Sounds like so many things went wrong with this operation. I hope they investigate, fines are issued to the demo company and these mistakes are prevented in the future.
I believe that the stack fell exactly where we were all told it was suppose to, however...I don't think anyone could have anticipated debris flying approx. 700 ft. I feel confident that the demo contractor and the city will get to the bottom of it so it won't happen again. From what I understand, the workers went in because the stack WASN'T falling to cut the rebar, and they must have had an adequete exit plan because none of them were injured.

As much fun as these events are to watch, they are dangerous and things can go wrong. We all need to keep this in mind when we are taking our families to see things like this.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Texas- moving back to New England!
556 posts, read 568,723 times
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That's when a good television set comes in handy. Watch from a SAFE distance... like, miles
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:07 PM
 
1,775 posts, read 7,672,302 times
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I'm in FL but my home town is Berlin. I just went to Youtube and someone had their home video of it there so i at least got to see them fall from 1500 miles away.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:57 PM
 
4,567 posts, read 9,598,880 times
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Ahh..... I see what happened. 320 foot tower demolition with fence placed 300 feet away, what could go wrong? Might have been a darwin award.


Seacoastonline.com: 7 hurt by smokestack rubble

CONCORD — What was to have been a spectacle turned into a nightmare for one Berlin woman who was injured by flying debris when a concrete smokestack tumbled to the ground at the former Berlin pulp mill.

Moderator cut: do not reposts copyrighted articles

"The fence was 300 or 400 feet away and I've never seen it go that far, and the debris that was halfway in the parking lot were baseball size. The pieces that went outside the fence ... maybe would have been fairly small," he said.

Last edited by Yac; 12-13-2007 at 04:40 AM..
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