| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Plumes of dust as India demolishes illegal skyscrapers

On Sunday, Indian officials demolished two illegally built buildings in a broad cloud of dust debris outside the capital New Delhi, razing the country’s highest towers in less than 10 seconds.

Crowds shouted and clapped as the 103-metre (338-foot) tall towers collapsed following a controlled demolition as dust covered the residential neighborhood from roofs on surrounding high-rise buildings.

The Supreme Court ordered the destruction of the skyscrapers in the Noida area last year after a lengthy legal struggle determined they breached several construction codes and fire safety standards.

Around 2:30 p.m. (0900 GMT), around 3,700 kilograms (8,100 pounds) of explosives were utilized, according to local media. Explosives were strategically placed to do the least amount of harm to the region.

Police said they were analyzing the extent of the damage. Residents in the area said they would check to see whether their homes had been damaged. Despite the prevalence of illegal building in India, such demolitions are uncommon.

Thousands had vacated their apartments near the blast site for about 10 hours, and scores of police and emergency personnel were deployed for the demolition of the towers containing 850 unoccupied apartments.

  • Reuters