Demolition takes terrifying turn

PELL CITY, Alabama (WVTM) – The process of demolishing a smokestack at Pell City, Alabama’s Avondale Mills was more involved than expected.

The smokestack’s base was thicker than engineers thought, causing them to recharge the blast and detonate it a second time.

After the second attempt, they tried to use an excavator to knock over the smokestack. Part of the smokestack fell on the backhoe, but the driver was unharmed in the incident.

“It got dark real quick,” said Tim Phyfer, who was driving the backhoe. “I’ve had some things go wrong, but not like this.”

Phyfer said the backhoe’s cab is designed to hold the equipment’s weight should it flip over during use.

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