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Former power plant demolished in controlled explosion

14:40 04/06/2017

The cooling tower and three chimneys of the former Engie Electrabel power plant in East Flanders were demolished on Saturday in a controlled explosion, writes Knack. The demolition took place in Ruien, a municipality of Kluisbergen, under the watchful eye of the media and hundreds of spectators.

The explosion, initially scheduled to occur between 15.30 and 16.30, was postponed until 17.15 because there were still people within the vicinity. In spite of the delay, everything went according to plan, according to Kluisbergen mayor Philippe Willequet.

The 95-meter cooling tower was first to be demolished, followed by the three chimneys of up to 150m high. The ensuing rubble landed in the intended location, resulting in a huge cloud of dust.

The power plant in Ruien generated electricity from the mid-50s until its closure in 2013. The site has been slowly dismantled over the past two years leading up to Saturday's explosion.

Flemish energy minister Bart Tommelein and Mayor Willequet pressed the detonation button, as spectators looked on from the surrounding hills.

The 79 hectare site will now be developed into a 'sustainable economic reconversion project'.

Written by Robyn Boyle