Implosion at Sugar Land refinery nearly goes awry

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by KHOU

wfaa.com

Posted on December 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 19 at 6:57 PM

SUGAR LAND, Texas – Two towers at the historic Imperial Sugar refinery in Sugar Land were imploded Sunday morning, though not everything went according to plan.

Officials with Johnson Development said one of the buildings was knocked down with dynamite at 7 a.m. However, due to technical difficulties, the second one did not fall as planned.

"The charges were reset and we tried again about 7:45 a.m. and it still did not come down," said project General Manage Shay Shafie. "Then, some time right after 8 a.m., the second building just finally fell down on its own."

Investigators went inside the second building after it failed to implode and were able to exit in time.

"The workers in the area started hearing the metal creaking, knew the building was starting to fall, and were able to get out with plenty of time," Shafie said.

Many spectators, some of whom had worked at the factory, were still at the scene when the second building fell.

Company officials said the historic landmark associated with the refinery will remain in place.

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