Crowds cheer as 650ft power station chimney brought down

·2-min read
(Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
(Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Crowds of people gathered in the early hours of Sunday to watch the demolition of a 650ft chimney at Fawley Power Station.

The enormous structure, which has stood at the entrance to Southampton Water for half a century, was reduced to rubble using a controlled explosion.

Driving wind and rain meant people huddled together wrapped in warm coats and hats at Hamble Point.

Cheers went up as the chimney came down in clouds of smoke and debris.

A safety exclusion zone was set up from 5.30am around the site and surrounding area which was guarded by police.

The nearby B3053 and Footpath 46 between Ashlett Creek and Calshot were also temporarily closed.

The enormous structure has stood at the entrance to Southampton Water for half a century (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
The enormous structure has stood at the entrance to Southampton Water for half a century (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

The poor weather conditions meant a live stream of the event using drone footage – organised by the chimney’s owner, Fawley Waterside – could not go ahead.

The tower’s destruction is part of a plan to create 1,500 homes, plus commercial and community facilities.

Alexandra Inman, 29, a charity worker from the New Forest told the PA news agency: “I wanted to see the demolition as the tower can be seen for miles around and is a bit of local history.

“My sister and brother-in-law live in Fawley so I met up with them and walked to a local view point.

“There was a bomb raid-sounding siren at 6.59 and then the tower came down dead on 7am.

“The explosion was super loud and the ground shook.

“Due to the bad weather there was only a few of us who witnessed it from Fawley.”

Ms Inman, who has lived in the area most of her life, said the demolition “marks a new era of the area”.

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