Dramatic footage shows power station chimney being demolished

Dramatic footage shows 180ft chimney at Rugeley Power Station being demolished in controlled explosion
Dramatic footage shows 180ft chimney at Rugeley Power Station being demolished in controlled explosion

Story and video from SWNS

Dozens of spectators gathered to watch the dramatic moment a 183-metre (600ft) tall iconic power station chimney was demolished in a controlled explosion.

The imposing concrete tower at Rugeley Power Station collapsed in just four seconds in a cloud of dust on Sunday 24 January.

Between 50 and 100 residents gathered on a nearby hillside to watch the spectacle unfold despite police warning people to avoid travelling to the area during lockdown.

The massive chimney was demolished using explosive charges to pave the way for new development in the area - including hundreds of homes, a school and offices.

The coal-fired power plant - which dominates the Staffordshire skyline - has been closed since 2016 after being in operation for 53 years.

Local resident Brian Thornton, 65, watched the demolition live-streamed online after road closures were put in place as part of the exclusion zone.

He said: "Although I wasn't even there, I heard it from inside my house. It was like a bomb going off. It's sort of sad to see it go as its been part of the skyline for so long.

"But times move on, and its great the area is being redeveloped as it will bring people and jobs to the area.

"It was quite a spectacle to watch but its the end of an era. I didn't need an alarm clock this morning anyway, that's for sure."

Locals also said they felt the shockwaves of the blast from hundreds of feet away and others described a sound "like a loud clap of thunder."

Tim Bardell wrote on social media: "Wow, that was quite something. Could feel the shockwaves from hundreds of feet away."

Staffordshire Police said they had deployed special constables to assist staff at the power station and uphold the lockdown rules.

Speaking previously, Chief Inspector Becky Hyde, of Cannock neighbourhood policing team (NPT), said: "We understand people will be interested in viewing the demolition, but are encouraging everyone to stick to the lockdown rules and view the event from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

"Officers will be on hand during the morning to speak to anyone they feel is not adhering to the government's national coronavirus lockdown restrictions and will issue fixed penalty notices where necessary.

"We appreciate the public's support in this and know they are doing all they can to protect themselves and others from this devastating illness."