Written by Nisha Anand | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
On Sunday, when real estate developer Supertech’s twin towers in Noida were demolished – brought down in nine seconds to end a nearly decade-long battle over violation of building laws – an exclusion zone of 500 metres was created to keep out people and vehicles. The idea was to keep out unauthorised persons amid safety concerns; tens of thousands of kg of debris and rock from the towers (the tallest was 103 m) would come hurtling down.
However, seven people got an up-close view of the demolition – from as near as 100 m.
Who were the seven?
All seven were part of the detonation team and were positioned well inside the exclusion zone, where an official from Edifice Engineering – the firm tasked with the demolition – had the ‘honour’ of pressing the button that razed two of India’s tallest.
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The seven included Chetan Dutta (who detonated 3,700 kg of carefully placed explosives), project manager Mayur Mehta, and deputy commissioner of police Rajesh S.
The other four were members of South Africa-based Jet Demolitions- Edifice’s foreign partner and the firm that carried out the demolition – Joe Brinkkman, Marthinus Botha, Kevin Smit and Ian Ehlers. The two crews worked for months to craft and execute a demolition plan that reduced the towers to rubble while minimising damage to nearby buildings and spaces.
The final order was given at 12.30 pm Sunday and, a little after 2.30 pm, the detonator was pressed and the twin towers fell, slowly at first but then tumbling into a rapidly growing massive cloud of dust and debris that enveloped areas around.
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