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United Kingdom

Moment four cooling towers at Ferrybridge Power Station are demolished

Four landmark cooling towers are demolished in a 'significant milestone in the history of the UK energy industry'.

The 375-foot towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station in Knottingley, West Yorkshire were reduced to rubble in a controlled explosion. 

Around 100 homes were evacuated in the 328-yard exclusion zone surrounding the power station. 

Four towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, are demolished in a controlled explosion lasting ten seconds as crowds gather near their homes to watch 

Clouds of dust cause the towers to no longer be visible from the street as they disintegrate into the ground while crowds gather in the street 

Footage shows a rocket being fired into the air to mark a 30-second warning before the towers crumble into the ground in huge clouds of dust lasting ten seconds. 

People in nearby Pontefract watched in the rain as the smoke billowed into the sky following the destruction. 

And residents gathered on roadsides and in nearby fields to watch the towers, which have stood over the town for 50 years, disappear. 

People gather in a field to watch the extraordinary sight in the rain with their umbrellas in Knottingley, West Yorkshire

Beginning to crumble: The view from the M62 where traffic on the bridge is seen coming to a standstill. The explosion caused parts of West Yorkshire near the junction of the A1(M) and M62 to be affected by heavy traffic as the landmark towers collapsed

The cooling towers crumble to the ground after a rocket is fired into the air warning of the 30 second countdown and footage shows them appear to fold following the explosion 

Around 100 homes were evacuated in the 328-yard exclusion zone surrounding the power station as the towers were were demolished 

Billows of dust clouded the air as birds fled following the rocket marking the countdown. The towers have stood over the town for 50 years 

People gather in Knottingley with umbrellas and coats in the rain to watch the iconic towers demolished 

The explosion caused parts of West Yorkshire near the junction of the A1(M) and M62 to come to a standstill as the landmark towers collapsed. 

Roads were closed and rolling road blocks were used on the motorways as the towers collapsed.

Ferrybridge C, in West Yorkshire, provided the UK with energy for 50 years until its owners, energy company SSE, made the decision to close the coal-fired power station in March 2016.

Today's demolition comes after another of Ferrybridge's eight cooling towers were brought down in July when Tower Six collapsed in a controlled explosion.

The final three towers are being retained in case a decision is taken to use the ground for a new gas-fired power station.

Head of demolition at SSE Drew McAdam said: 'The removal of these four cooling towers will be the single biggest blowdown event in the three-year demolition project at the site.'

Mr McAdam continued: 'Ferrybridge C proudly produced electricity for 50 years and its decommissioning and demolition is a significant milestone in the history of the UK energy industry.

'As the UK looks to take action on climate change, SSE is committed to supporting the low-carbon transition with a core focus on renewable energy.'

Residents gather and line the streets as the the 375ft towers disappear in huge clouds of dust as Ferrybridge marks a landmark site in the town 

Ferrybridge C opened in 1966 and have become a landmark in the town of Knottingley. Crowds stand in the rain as the explosion begins its countdown 

Ferrybridge C opened in 1966 and became the first power station in Europe to succeed in generating electricity from a 500-megawatt machine.

The station made the record books again in 1973 when one of the generators set a world record by running non-stop for 5,448 hours, generating 2,999 gigawatt hours.

SSE decided to shut down the power station as it was believed to have no longer been economical.

Energy company SSE made the decision to close the coal-fired power station in March 2016 as part of the company's ongoing transition to a low-carbon energy future

The demolition activities at the site are expected to be fully completed by summer 2021 and are part of SSE's ongoing transition to a low-carbon energy future, in line with the UK's ambition for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The company has committed to further reducing the carbon intensity of the electricity it generates by 50 per cent by 2030.

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