Four landmark cooling towers are demolished in a ‘significant milestone in the history of the UK energy industry’.
The 375-foot towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station in Knottingley, West Yorkshire were reduced to rubble in a controlled explosion.
Around 140 homes were evacuated in the 328-yard exclusion zone surrounding the power station.
Four towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, are demolished in a controlled explosion lasting 45 seconds as crowds gather near their homes to watch
Clouds of dust cause the towers to no longer be visible from the street as they disintegrate into the ground while crowds gather in the street
Footage shows a rocket being fired into the air to mark a 30-second warning before the towers crumbled into the ground in huge clouds of dust lasting 45 seconds at 10.30am.
People in nearby Pontefract watched in the rain as the smoke billowed into the sky following the destruction.
And residents gathered on roadsides and in nearby fields to watch the towers, which have stood over the town for 50 years, disappear.
There were cheers and gasps as the four towers – which have stood for over 50 years – fell to the ground.
People gather in a field to watch the extraordinary sight in the rain with their umbrellas in Knottingley, West Yorkshire
Shelly Thornton, who lives on nearby Pollard’s Fields was evacuated from her home and secured a prime viewing spot and spent last night bubble wrapping fragile items.
She said: ‘Last time when the single one came down we were watching through the window.
‘It was incredibly scary, my hair blew back. When we came downstairs all my pictures were askew on the wall and all my china in my cabinet had sort of moved around.
Many people took to Twitter to share their sadness after the cooling towers were demolished in a dramatic blowdown event which marked the ‘end of an era’.
Peter Smith from North Yorkshire tweeted: ‘Anyone who was not moved by the sight of Ferrybridge power station at full pelt from the A1 or M62 isn’t a real Northerner.
Beginning to crumble: The view from the M62 where traffic on the bridge is seen coming to a standstill. The explosion caused parts of West Yorkshire near the junction of the A1(M) and M62 to be affected by heavy traffic as the landmark towers collapsed
‘Sad news for traditionalists, good news for the planet.’
Mother-of-two from Yorkshire Lisa Sykes added: ‘Just watched a video of four of the Ferrybridge cooling towers being blown up, quite sad to see as these were major landmarks, we used to play games whoever saw them first when coming back from trips away, you knew when you saw them you were nearly home.’
Billy Dodds said: ‘Cooling towers at Ferrybridge now gone, my one hour to home landmark when going up the A1. Can’t say I’ll miss them.’
The cooling towers crumble to the ground after a rocket is fired into the air warning of the 30 second countdown and footage shows them appear to fold following the explosion
Around 100 homes were evacuated in the 328-yard exclusion zone surrounding the power station as the towers were were demolished
Billows of dust clouded the air as birds fled following the rocket marking the countdown. The towers have stood over the town for 50 years
People gather in Knottingley with umbrellas and coats in the rain to watch the iconic towers demolished
The explosion caused parts of West Yorkshire near the junction of the A1(M) and M62 to come to a standstill as the landmark towers collapsed.
Roads were closed and rolling road blocks were used on the motorways as the towers collapsed.
Ferrybridge C, in West Yorkshire, provided the UK with energy for 50 years until its owners, energy company SSE, made the decision to close the coal-fired power station in March 2016.
Today’s demolition comes after another of Ferrybridge’s eight cooling towers were brought down in July when Tower Six collapsed in a controlled explosion.
The final three towers are being retained in case a decision is taken to use the ground for a new gas-fired power station.
Head of demolition at SSE Drew McAdam said: ‘The removal of these four cooling towers will be the single biggest blowdown event in the three-year demolition project at the site.’
Mr McAdam continued: ‘Ferrybridge C proudly produced electricity for 50 years and its decommissioning and demolition is a significant milestone in the history of the UK energy industry.
‘As the UK looks to take action on climate change, SSE is committed to supporting the low-carbon transition with a core focus on renewable energy.’
Residents gather and line the streets as the the 375ft towers disappear in huge clouds of dust as Ferrybridge marks a landmark site in the town
Ferrybridge C opened in 1966 and have become a landmark in the town of Knottingley. Crowds stand in the rain as the explosion begins its countdown
Ferrybridge C opened in 1966 and became the first power station in Europe to succeed in generating electricity from a 500-megawatt machine.
The station made the record books again in 1973 when one of the generators set a world record by running non-stop for 5,448 hours, generating 2,999 gigawatt hours.
SSE decided to shut down the power station as it was believed to have no longer been economical.
Energy company SSE made the decision to close the coal-fired power station in March 2016 as part of the company’s ongoing transition to a low-carbon energy future
The demolition activities at the site are expected to be fully completed by summer 2021 and are part of SSE’s ongoing transition to a low-carbon energy future, in line with the UK’s ambition for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The company has committed to further reducing the carbon intensity of the electricity it generates by 50 per cent by 2030.
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