"Cynthia Witthoft" - Song - "Dream Implosion" -
One of the earliest documented attempts at building implosion was the 1773 razing of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Waterford, Ireland with 150 pounds of gunpowder, a huge amount of explosives at the time. The use of low velocity explosive produced a deafening explosion that instantly reduced the the building to rubble.
The 1900s saw the erection of—and ultimately the need to demolish—the first skyscrapers. This led to other considerations in the explosive demolition of buildings, such as worker and spectator safety and limiting collateral damage. Benefiting from the availability of dynamite, a high-velocity explosive based on a stabilized form of nitroglycerine, and borrowing from techniques used in rock-blasting, such as staggered detonation of several small charges, building demolition edged toward efficient building implosion.
Following World War II, European demolition experts faced with massive reconstruction projects in dense urban areas gathered practical knowledge and experience for bringing down large structures without harming adjacent properties. This led to the emergence of a demolition industry that grew and matured during the latter half of the twentieth century. At the same time, the development of more efficient high-velocity explosives such as RDX and non-electrical firing systems combined to make this a period of time in which the building implosion technique was extensively used.
Meanwhile, public interest in the spectacle of controlled building explosion also grew. The October 1994 demolition of the Sears Merchandise Center in Philadelphia, PA drew a cheering crowd of 50,000, as well as protesters, bands, and street vendors hawking building implosion memorabilia. Evolution in the mastery of controlled demolition led to the world record demolition of the Seattle Kingdome on March 26, 2000.
In 1997, a building implosion in Canberra, Australia experienced disaster. The main building did not fully disintegrate and had to be manually demolished. Far worse, the explosion was not contained on the site and large pieces of debris were projected towards spectators 500 metres away, in a location considered safe for viewing. A twelve-year old girl was killed instantly, and nine others were injured. Large fragments of masonry and metal were found 650 metres from the demolition site.