Windsor skyscraper demolition to cost EUR 17.5m

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 February 2005, MADRID-The demolition of the fire-ravaged Windsor skyscraper in Madrid will start on Saturday and cost up to EUR 17.5 million, city authorities said.

25 February 2005

MADRID-The demolition of the fire-ravaged Windsor skyscraper in Madrid will start on Saturday and cost up to EUR 17.5 million, city authorities said.

The destruction of the building should take between ten and 11 months and will be carried out by a small team of 50 workers.

The operation can begin after investigators trying to uncover the cause of the fire which destroyed a landmark skyscraper in Madrid have concluded their examination inside the building.

Meanwhile, it appeared investigators were discounting earlier theories that arsonists could have caused the blaze almost two weeks ago.

Initially, an open door underneath the building, and a murky video allegedly showing shadowy 'figures' inside the burning skyscraper, led investigators to believe arsonists could have broken in and started the fire.

But it emerged the door was forced open by firefighters after the blaze started.

Now it seems more likely the original theory -a short-circuit - might be more accurate.

The 31-storey Windsor, an emblematic structure of the modern part of this capital, was devoured by flames early on 12 February in a huge fire which firefighters could not bring under control.

Six days after the fire, television stations broadcast an amateur video shot by a resident of the area in which several people can be seen moving about 16th floor as the flames advanced, some three hours after the structure was evacuated.

Another local resident told local media that she too saw people moving around inside the building as it burned, and that they turned on, then off, the lights of some offices.

Firefighting experts told local media that anyone who was in the building more than a few minutes after it caught fire would have needed an asbestos suit, otherwise they would have not been able to stand the high temperatures.

The daily ABC quoted investigators as saying the video images appear to depict individuals wearing helmets, and that at least one of the silhouetted figures appears to be talking into a hand-held radio.

Even before the new information came to light, some experts had noted that the course of the blaze - from higher to lower floors - was unusual.

They also remarked on the rapid progress of the flames between floors.

Further investigation into the cause of the fire will be carried out once the charred structure is dismantled.

Huge cranes have been set up around the blackened superstructure to begin taking it apart, as engineers said it was in danger of collapsing.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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