Early on Sunday, the 381-foot AfE Tower in Frankfurt, which once housed offices for the department of social sciences and education at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, was reduced to a massive pile of rubble in a matter of seconds. It was no accident though. Nearly a ton of explosives were used to bring down the 42-year-old skyscraper, making it the largest controlled demolition in Europe.
Explosives expert Eduard Reisch oversaw the operation and told DW that it “is almost 100% possible to blow up such a building without hurting people or neighboring buildings.” Achieving a demolition of this magnitude while keeping the surrounding buildings in tact is no easy feat.
Canisters filled with 264 gallons of water were blown up along with the building in an effort to reduce dust, and six-meter-high barriers were constructed around the skyscraper to prevent damage to nearby properties.
Once everything was in place, it took only ten seconds for the AfE Tower to come crumbling down.
The original plan did not call for a demolition of this size, as the skyscraper was initially going to be taken down in a gradual, yet lengthy, deconstruction. However area residents were opposed to such a lengthy process and did not want to put up with the constant noise.
Once the demolition site is cleaned up, two new high-rise office buildings will be constructed in the spot that the AfE Tower once claimed.