Sunday, February 25, 2024
HomeBreakingNoida's twin skyscrapers vanished in 12 seconds and are now in ruins. 

Noida’s twin skyscrapers vanished in 12 seconds and are now in ruins. 

Noida: On Sunday, the Supertech twin towers were destroyed in a heart-pounding conclusion to the biggest and most difficult demolition work exercise the nation has ever seen. The ‘waterfall implosion’ that destroyed the structures went as planned, and the assessment team that finished on a reconnaissance shortly afterwards found no significant damage to the sets of buildings at ATS Greens Village & Emerald Court that flanked the twin towers in the 93A Sector.

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The detonator stimulated the succession of charges linking 3,700kg of explosive materials that were stuffed into the two buildings for the Supreme Court-ordered exercise, and Apex -103 metres- and Ceyane -94 metres, the tallest structures in India to be dragged down through a constrained implosion, tumbled in exactly 12 seconds.

Supertech twin towers demolition work

After the dust cleared & security clearance was granted on Sunday afternoon, Shankar Ghosh, who resides on the 11th floor of Aster-2, the housing project nearest to the twin towers – 9 metres away, entered his duplex flat with a mixture of worry, relief, and pleasant surprise. After the building on Aster-2 was demolished, I walked in before anyone else. The house surprisingly did not have any dust inside. No damage was discovered after a thorough search. I set up a camera just on the rooftop to record the collapse of the World Trade Center. Beautiful imagery was captured, but no tremor was picked up by the cameras, Ghosh told TOI.

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A container wall filled with rubble was placed in the space between the two buildings as a shock absorber, just for Aster-2. Overall, it looked like a successful concept.

Supertech twin towers demolition work

However, a piece of the outer wall of ATS Greens Village was damaged by falling objects. Someone living there commented, “I am seeing photographs of the border wall being broken, but hopefully the foundations were not affected,” and that person was Vandana Dua. “At the moment, I feel very content. The towers would eventually fall,” she continued.

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The twin towers were obliterated by the massive cloud of dust they created during their controlled demolition. They returned a few moments later as a gentle mass of concrete rubble around the size of a three-storey structure. The devastation created an image of a community ravaged by war, but the cheerful smiles everywhere, loud cheers from spectators and the explosive specialists flying into one another arms in satisfaction and pleasure rapidly belied that.

Over the day, the demolition had grown into a massive show, with crowds gathering along the Noida highway and on rooftops, balconies, and parks to witness the buildings collapse. The nonstop TV commentary reminiscent of a frenetic Twenty20 match and live blogs on the website amplified the excitement.

Supertech twin towers demolition work

At 2:30 p.m., everyone stopped talking, radio and television stations went silent, and everyone’s gaze turned to the twin buildings. The skyscrapers began to crumble a few heart-stopping moments later with a crack and rumbling that sent chunks of concrete and sprays of dust rushing into the atmosphere from the top floors.

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The first to go was Ceyane, and then Apex, which was meant to go in the opposite direction. Close to a kilometre away, residents reported feeling the earth shake from the implosion. Chetan Dutta of Hisar, who pushed the button that initiated the explosion, said, “All of us (personnel of the blasting squad) was weeping after the twin towers fell safely.”

Once the structures had fallen, the six-person blasting crew from Edifice & Jet, who had been positioned at the entry point 100 metres from the twin towers, hurried back to the scene without expecting the dust to settle. Unexploded charges were the first item they looked for. The two Asters at Emerald Court, Aster 2 and Aster 3, were the next targets. When they saw no debris had landed on that side, they smiled broadly because everything had gone according to plan. They were “conscious” of the “possibility” that the ATS border wall could be damaged. Several broken glass panes and streetlights were reported in both cultures.

Brinkmann, director of Jet Demolition, said that “no structural damage was made to any of the buildings.” I can say with absolute certainty that the ground vibrations did not do any harm, as that was the intention of the design. Aster-2, directly to the north of Apex, was our primary source of concern. We lined the walls with containers, but nobody ever used them. So it looks like the explosion was a huge success. The extreme durability of the structures was our primary obstacle. We’re pleased with the outcome,” he declared.

Brinkmann, praising the efforts of the entire crew, said that India and Edifice have become the latest members of the “100-meter club” of countries in which buildings of at least that height have been brought down. In addition, the proximity of nearby residential structures added an extra layer of difficulty to the project. “We can’t take any of the credit; it was a collective effort,” Brinkmann added.

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Supertech twin towers demolition work

According to Dutta, the group was giving each other words of comfort and support even on Sunday morning. Everyone was telling each other that everything was going to be fine, and the mood was relaxed. At 1.50 pm, the first alarm was raised and except for seven (along with a senior police officer), everybody departed the area,” he added. “We started the arrangements then. Kevin Smit, Jet Demolition’s senior site manager, and I extended the wires associated with the fuses to the initiation point to link it to the exploder. For a half-hour period leading up to the detonation, nobody spoke,” Dutta added.

Before the destruction, a final inspection of the circuits was conducted from 8.30 am to 11 am. Between 1:50 and 2:20, the sirens wailed. “At 2.30 pm, the button is pushed and the towers came down. An extremely loud thud could be heard. We threw on our disguises, made a break for the buildings, and hopped the five-meter wall. We looked around and noticed the ATS wall was broken. When we returned to the World Trade Center, Kevin suggested, “Let’s take a selfie.” The Hisarite blaster recalled, “But we were in tears, relieved.”

Supertech twin towers demolition work

When the dust cleared after about 15 minutes, the ATS Village and Emerald Court properties, as well as the road in front, were coated in a thick layer of concrete dust, prompting inspection teams from Edifice, Jet, and Central Building Research Institute (CBRI). Staff from the Noida Authority then began the cleanup effort using anti-smog guns, mechanical cleaning machines, water tankers, and sprinklers.

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Uttkarsh Mehta, the partner at Edifice, said, “More than 20 monitoring systems, comprising black boxes, were put by CBRI, Edifice and IIT Chennai to examine various elements of the destruction. Within the following two weeks, the findings will be made public. In addition to helping with future demolition projects, it will be employed for the study.

He claimed that glass window damage was being evaluated and that new ones will be installed soon. Additionally, the teams examined the crack gauges put in pre-existing fissures in the neighbouring structures. According to Mayur Mehta, project manager at Edifice, “the values were the same, hence there was no harm.”

The wind was forecast to blow west, away from residential structures and into the Noida Authority park in front, but it altered course in the morning to the east, sending a cloud of dust in the direction of the homes.

The Supreme Court ordered the twin towers’ removal on August 31 of last year after finding that they had been built against building codes and in “collusion” with Noida Authority officials. The bench claimed that the towers’ construction also did not adhere to fire safety regulations, such as the need for a certain amount of space between buildings nearby in a housing society. A case has shown the planning agency’s shady dealings.

According to the judgement, this fact strongly suggests that Noida as well as the appellant are cooperating. 

The court ordered Supertech to pay Rs 20 crore for the demolition.

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