VOTD: Athlone Cooling Towers Demolition

For fifty years there has been a well known landmark in Cape Town – no, not Table Mountain – the cooling towers alongside the N2 (national highway) right next to an old Coal Power Station.

It’s been many years now that the power station and the adjoining cooling towers have been decommissioned and since then support rings have been added to prevent the ageing towers from collapsing in high winds.

Recently though, the towers had been declared unsafe due to structural weakness of the towers as well as parts of the supporting braces that were breaking off and it was declared that they would be demolished.

A bitter sweet moment for many Cape Town residents. For me I’m going to miss using them as a landmark for directing friends from the airport, but I guess the stench of the sewerage farm (on the opposite side of the highway) will act as a landmark still.

So on the 22nd of August at about 4 minutes before noon (it was supposed to be at noon exactly but a pending change in the weather caused the demolition team to act quicker) the Athlone Cooling Towers came tumbling down.

Now there have been a number of videos floating around the internet but this is the best high-definition quality production I’ve seen so far.

Thanks to Gus Silber for the video link.