Tower demolition goes awry, observers run for their lives

A 275-foot tower being demolished by Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc. came down in the wrong direction yesterday, forcing observers to run for their lives.

November 11, 2010 -- A 275-foot tower being demolished by Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc. (AED) came down in the wrong direction yesterday, knocking down two 12,500-volt power lines and demolishing a building.

The accident occurred at the abandoned Mad River Power Plant in Springfield, Ohio, after the tower fell in the opposite direction that AED intended. Video of the incident shows observers scrambling to avoid falling power lines, which nearly came down on news crews.

Lisa Kelly, president and owner of the Idaho-based, family-owned demolition company, told the Dayton Daily News that the explosives detonated correctly, but an undetected crack on the south side of the tower pulled it in the wrong direction.

Nobody's happy with things that go wrong in life, and sometimes its out of our hands and beyond anybody's prediction ... We're all extremely thankful no one was injured, said Kelly.

The Mad River plant was built in the 1920s and last used thirty years ago. First Energy Corp. began razing the plant this summer as part of a company-wide effort to clean up old sites.

Officials estimate that 4,000 Springfield-area customers lost power as a result of the incident.