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A Demolition Gives a Huge British Chimney One Last Plume of Smoke

It’s said to be the tallest concrete structure ever exploded in the U.K.

The 801-foot-tall chimney at Kent’s Grain A Power Station was shuttered in 2012, but on Wednesday it got a final chance to belch vapors when work crews took it down in a thundering demolition.

Multiple charges around its perimeter ensured that the tower—which was only about 200 feet shy of London’s Shard—crumpled in a nearly vertical fall, with a cigar-shaped plume of dust and smoke rocketing out of its orifice. It’s the tallest concrete structure to undergo demolition in the U.K., according to The Telegraph. Cheers from the gathered crowd attested to the momentousness of the occasion.

The oil-fired facility was one of the latest victims of the Large Combustion Plant Directive, an E.U.-led effort to reduce acid rain, smog, and ozone from older power plants. Here’s another angle of the razing:

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.