Florida Condo Goes Boom in Implosion

Building implosionA 30-story hurricane-damaged condo in West Palm Beach, Fla. came tumbling down on Sunday in a Valentines Day implosion that made spectators' hearts go 'boom.' The scheduled implosion took only 15 seconds to crash the concrete and steel building into a 40-foot pile of rubble that will take about three months to clean up. The tower that was at 1515 Flagler is the third largest building in the U.S. to be imploded.

Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne damaged the tower back in 2004, and it has languished ever since, creating an eyesore for the high-end neighborhood, reported CBS Affiliate Channel 12. The biggest concern was the effect on other residences next door.
Implosions use dynamite and gravity to collapse structures onto themselves so that they do not topple neighboring buildings. Idaho-based Advanced Explosives Demolition, the subject of a 6-episode TLC reality show "The Imploders," used 2,000 sticks of dynamite to bring down the damaged condo building, which sat less than 200 feet away from other residences. (Click image above to watch video of implosion.)

Doug Wise, head of West Palm Beach's construction department, said a building cannot fall more than 1-1/2 times its own height, reported the Sun Sentinel. The 1515 Tower was 279 feet tall, which means if not properly contained, it could have fallen 418 feet sideways. But all went well and the building simply fell on top of its own footprint, as spectators cheered from 750-feet away.

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