Controlled blasts demolish former Redcar steelmaking plant

A huge controlled explosion has taken place to demolish one of the remaining parts of the former Redcar steelworks.

More than one and a half tonnes of explosives were used to fell the former BOS, or Basic Oxygen Steelmaking plant.

Three separate blasts over the course of a few seconds brought down the structure, after six months of preparations.

The drama was watched by an assembled crowd, while journalists and photographers lined up to capture the moment.

Several onlookers told ITV Tyne Tees the demolition was a bittersweet moment for Teesside as it marked the passing of an important era.

One woman, whose son had worked at the plant, commented: "Another bit of our greatness is gone."

The dust cleared to reveal the remains of the steelmaking plant. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The operation was carried out by North East demolition company Thompsons of Prudhoe.

Project manager Paul Turbitt admitted to a sleepless night beforehand but was delighted that all had gone to plan.

Mr Turbitt said: "The building was 65metres in height so we were trying to get it down to a height of roughly between twenty and twenty five metres so then our machines can deal with it on the ground ."

The BOS plant had been dormant since the closure of SSI in 2015.

The site is being cleared as part of wider redevelopment plans for the area.

Tees Valley elected mayor Ben Houchen explained: "We're in discussions for the site that's just been blown down on things like hydrogen production and advanced manufacturing.

"While there is a look to the past because steelmaking has been in our blood for many many decades, now we need to look forward and turn this site into something that ... can give us many tens of thousands of jobs in the future as well."

The plant was constructed from 105,000 tonnes of steel. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The BOS plant is no longer a landmark on the Teesside skyline, but many months of work still lie ahead to remove the debris left by the controlled explosion.

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