Iconic Rugeley power station chimney is demolished

Moment controlled explosion brings 600ft power station chimney crashing down in just four seconds after dominating Staffordshire skyline for 53 years

  • Small crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the demolition of the iconic power station chimney this morning
  • The tower has been an iconic part of the Staffordshire skyline since the Rugeley power station opened in 1964
  • It took just four seconds for the entire chimney to come crashing down completely in cloud of dust and smoke

Dozens of spectators gathered to watch the dramatic moment a 600ft tall iconic power station chimney was demolished in a controlled explosion.

The imposing concrete tower at Rugeley Power Station collapsed in just four seconds in a cloud of dust at 8am today.

Between 50 and 100 residents gathered on a nearby hillside to watch the spectacle unfold despite police warning people to avoid travelling to the area during lockdown.

A small crowd of local onlookers watched the demolition of the main 183m high chimney at Rugeley power station today

It took the iconic tower in Rugeley, Staffordshire, just four seconds to collapse in a large cloud of dust and smoke

A small crowd of onlookers gathered to watch from the early hours this morning despite police warning people to stay away

The massive chimney was demolished using explosive charges to pave the way for new development in the area – including hundreds of homes, a school and offices.

The coal-fired power plant – which dominates the Staffordshire skyline – has been closed since 2016 after being in operation for 53 years.

Local resident Brian Thornton, 65, watched the demolition live-streamed online after road closures were put in place as part of the exclusion zone.

He said: ‘Although I wasn’t even there, I heard it from inside my house. It was like a bomb going off. It’s sort of sad to see it go as its been part of the skyline for so long.

‘But times move on, and its great the area is being redeveloped as it will bring people and jobs to the area.

‘It was quite a spectacle to watch but its the end of an era. I didn’t need an alarm clock this morning anyway, that’s for sure.’

Residents who lived nearby said the noise of the demolition (pictured) sounded like ‘the the biggest clap of thunder’

The power station was closed in 2016 and work has been ongoing to clear the site and make way for hundreds of new homes

The power station has been an iconic part of the Staffordshire skyline since it was built in 1964 but was closed in 2016

Locals also said they felt the shockwaves of the blast from hundreds of feet away and others described a sound ‘like a loud clap of thunder.’

Tim Bardell wrote on social media: ‘Wow, that was quite something. Could feel the shockwaves from hundreds of feet away.’

Staffordshire Police said they had deployed special constables to assist staff at the power station and uphold the lockdown rules.

Speaking previously, Chief Inspector Becky Hyde, of Cannock neighbourhood policing team (NPT), said: ‘We understand people will be interested in viewing the demolition, but are encouraging everyone to stick to the lockdown rules and view the event from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

‘Officers will be on hand during the morning to speak to anyone they feel is not adhering to the government’s national coronavirus lockdown restrictions and will issue fixed penalty notices where necessary.

‘We appreciate the public’s support in this and know they are doing all they can to protect themselves and others from this devastating illness.’

Residents were allowed to watch the last phase of the demolition which took place in August last year. 

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