Hundreds watch demolition of flats

View from Rosebank Street at Dundee Multi's come crashing down on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Photo courtesy of SAFEDEM.
View from Rosebank Street at Dundee Multi's come crashing down on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Photo courtesy of SAFEDEM.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered around Newport and Tayport on Sunday to watch the spectacular demolition of four Dundee tower blocks.

While some eager watchers had camped on the banks of the Tay overnight, most people began arriving in the area early in the morning eager to get a decent parking spot and a good view across the river to watch the Alexander Street ‘multi’s’ come crashing down.

Some even came armed with deckchairs, flasks and sandwiches as it was unclear exactly when the demolition would happen.

With the Tay Road Bridge car park full up early on, cars littered verges and almost the entire stretch between Newport and Tayport as people jostled for standing room on the cycle path and on the bridge itself.

A flotilla of yachts, jet-skis and even the Broughty Ferry Lifeboat all made their way up the Tay for their own, unique, vantage point.

Newport was also fit to burst as people gathered in eager anticipation of the simultaneous explosion, which eventually came at almost exactly 12.30pm.

The first visible sign that something was happening was when bridge traffic was slowed by police in a bid to stop ‘rubber-neckers’ from causing accidents on the crossing.

Just seconds later the first tower (Jamaica) was seen to collapse, immediately followed by the other three — Carnegie, Wellington and Maxwelltown — and a loud boom reverberated across the Tay.

Instantly a massive cloud of white dust rose into the air and the tower-blocks, part of the city-centre skyline for 43 years, were gone.

Demolition company Safedem used 135kg of explosives and 4500 detonators in the operation which was later praised by police.

Hundreds of homes had been evacuated with many Dundonians flocking to the Law hill to watch the demise of the flats, once Dundee’s highest buildings.