UK & World News

  • 3 April 2014, 13:11

Commonwealth Opener To See Towers Demolished

They have been a fixture of Glasgow's skyline for five decades, but the Red Road tower blocks will come tumbling down in less than 30 seconds as part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

The live demolition of five of the six remaining towers will be the biggest of its kind ever seen in Europe, organisers say.

An estimated television audience of 1.5 billion is expected to tune in to see the 30-storey blocks crumble.

The event will also be beamed live to the opening ceremony itself inside Celtic Park on a giant 100-metre screen which will fill the entire south stand of the stadium.

More than 1,250kg of explosives will be used and the demolition will take just 15 seconds.

A total of 887 nearby homes will be evacuated, with residents invited to the ceremony on July 23.

Eileen Gallagher, independent director on the Glasgow 2014 board, said the demolition proves Glasgow is a city that is "proud of its history but doesn't stand still".

City council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Red Road has an iconic place in Glasgow's history, having been home to thousands of families and dominating the city's skyline for decades.

"Their demolition will all but mark the end of high-rise living in the area and is symbolic of the changing face of Glasgow, not least in terms of our preparations for the Games."

Built between 1964 and 1969, the flats were once the highest in Europe at 89 metres (292ft).

Six of the original towers remain after two previous demolitions, one in 2012 and the other last year.

They were originally designed to hold 4,700 people but in later years numbers dropped as the properties slipped into decline.

Director Andrea Arnold used the buildings as the setting for her 2006 Scottish Bafta-winning film Red Road.

One block, Petershill Court, is used to house asylum seekers and will be brought down at a later date.

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