Demolition of skyscraper to take less than year

15th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 February 2005, MADRID-The demolition of the fire-ravaged Windsor Tower in Madrid will take less than a year, the head of the operation said.

18 February 2005

MADRID-The demolition of the fire-ravaged Windsor Tower in Madrid will take less than a year, the head of the operation said.

Emilio García de Burgos, of Madrid city council, said small robots will be used to go into some of the more dangerous areas of the tower.

The rubble which is lying around the wrecked tower will be cleared, taking up to two days.

The demolition team, which started the operation on Friday, brought in tonnes of sand to level the area and install cranes.

A city council report found the Windsor building could not be repaired and would have to be pulled down.

In preparation for the demolition, fire teams reduced the security barrier around the building from 500 to 60 metres to allow workers in Madrid's financial district to resume their duties.

Fire teams began their first inspection inside the wrecked skyscraper on Wednesday and declared the building unstable.

Four firefighters went up to the 28th floor and said the badly damaged Windsor building in the capital's financial area.

The inspection began as investigators tried to piece together how the huge blaze began.

The Spanish daily El Pais reported the building did not have automatic sprinklers on the floor where the blaze started.

Quoting a city hall official, the newspaper said the 21st floor of the 31-storey Windsor Tower in Madrid's financial centre, where the fire started, was devoid of firefighting equipment, which had been in the process of being installed since 2003.

According to Madrid safety regulations, only buildings where people can go to a floor higher than 100 metres (328 feet) have to be equipped with automatic sprinklers.

Four other skyscrapers in the capital do not have sprinklers, El Pais reported.

The Windsor Tower was 106 metres (347 feet) tall but the highest point that people could reach was at 96.7 meters.

El Pais said the building's first 12 floors had been equipped with an anti-fire system but the extinguishers had not yet been installed when the fire broke out overnight on Saturday.

Madrid Mayor Alberti Ruiz-Gallardon said the gutted building would have to be destroyed.

Newspapers said the operation would probably take a year and could cost some EUR 22 million (USD 28.5m).

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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