How engineers blew up four Abu Dhabi towers in 10 seconds

Six thousand kilos of explosives and 18,000 individually programmed detonators were used to blow Abu Dhabi’s Mina Plaza towers in just 10 seconds, officials have revealed.

The explosives used to raze the four towers at 8am on Friday morning were a combination of plastic and detonated cordite, said Bill O’Regan, acting chief executive of Modon Properties, the company that was in charge of the demolition.

“If you can imagine we drilled 18,000 holes in the building – and each hole had a unit of explosives in it and detonator connected back to the firing points,” he told The National in an interview just after the buildings came down.

“And all of that was modelled and simulated so we knew exactly how the building would come down and how long it would take.”

The city of Abu Dhabi was not affected by the blast – apart from waking up with a loud bang

Bill O’Regan, Modon Properties

The market’s much-loved local traders had been told they would have to relocate their stores. But they were given a reprieve last week and promised by the government that they can keep trading while regeneration takes place.

Bill O’Regan said the developer was working to retailers back into their stores as the adjacent blast area is cleared.

“We are expecting them to be back in business very soon,” he said.

“They did not have to evacuate anything, the only protection the plant souk needed was just to place tarpaulin to protect the plants from the dust.”

Officials expect to re-open the roads around Mina Zayed port later on Friday.

Traffic was back to normal at the Corniche an hour after the blast.

“Really, the city of Abu Dhabi was not affected by the blast – apart from waking up with a loud bang,” he said.

The fact that “the dust blew offshore”, also helped.

“We did not select the date based on the weather, but we have watching and simulating the weather all week.

“We could have exploded it even in severe weather conditions but if we had strong wind onshore it would have caused too much dust,” he said.

Report by The National

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