Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Implosions


"I watch 'MythBusters' and they inspired me to blow a building up," said 7-year-old Maxwell Hinton. Treated for neuroblastoma, Maxwell had his wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation over the weekend. He had to travel from his hometown of Fresno, California, to Huron, Ohio, to push the button that initiated the implosion of a massive ConAgra grain silo (images above). Between 30,000 and 40,000 people watched the building come down, a prerequisite to selling the 11-acre property. "I had a great time," Maxwell said afterward.

Watching video of implosions can be mesmerizing, although I have never seen one in person. Here are a few I found with the locations identified (zillions more on YouTube, note: mild expletives):
When I was still living in Alexandria, Virginia, state and federal agencies held an essay contest to determine who would have the satisfaction of detonating the explosion that brought down the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which carries traffic into Washington, D.C. The drawbridge was replaced in 2006 and a 1/2-mile stretch of elevated steel girders that supported it was destroyed at the push of a lever by Dan Ruefly. The commuter had driven over the span twice a day for 28 years and was in an accident on it in 1999 that crushed his hip.

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