The planned demolition of a silo in southern Denmark on April 6th went spectacularly wrong when the structure fell in the opposite direction as intended. Nobody was injured as the 170-foot silo at Vordingborg Harbour fell, but it damaged a small section of an adjacent library. Reka Fodor, a student from University College Absalon in the nearby town of Naestved, posted a video to Instagram which showed the tower briefly falling in the correct direction before slowing and eventually toppling the wrong way.

The blast had been in preparation for six months and an investigation has begun into what went wrong. Vordingborg’s mayor, Mikael Smed, told the Ritzau news agency that dust and glass would need to be cleared up from the damaged area and a structural assessment of the damaged building carried out. Kenneth Wegge, the man responsible for overseeing the blast, told TV East he had no peace of mind after his “worst nightmare” came true. Authorities say Mr Wegge went by procedure and seems to have done everything correctly. Investigations into why the tower fell in the wrong direction are currently underway.

This is another chimney / silo that fell the wrong way and no one knows why. Danish Explosives Association can’t explain it but to us the reasons are clear.

1. The guaranteed method would be to remove the top section of the silo with a industrial chimney company and jackhammers until an excavator or crane could reach the top of it with a concrete crushing jaw. If not, the height of the silo should have been lowered 1/3. This would have provided extra support at the hinge and the chimney would have with greater certainty fall in the correct direction.

2. Then the stack should have been saw cut, not chipped out with a jackhammer in the back.

3. Mechanical means should have been used to take it down and not explosives.

4. The area of the chimney that had been removed should have been shored up and burned to provide the hinge with additional support until the chimney fell over far enough to keep going in the correct direction.

5. And most importantly as in this case, the demolition should have been done near the ground, not in the air. When the chimney came to rest on what became a pedestal, this allowed the chimney to pivot off it in the opposite direction.

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