31 May 2015

Christchurch building reduced to rubble in a controlled implosion

9:19 pm on 31 May 2015

Video: The 13-storey earthquake-damaged police station in central Christchurch has been demolished using explosives - watch it here: (Fast forward to the end of the tape).

Hundreds of people positioned themselves at various points along the public exclusion zone hoping to see the building fall, despite warnings to stay at home.

More than 20,000 people watched via an internet live stream.

Crowds gathering to watch the implosion of the former Christchurch police station.

Crowds gathering to watch the implosion of the former Christchurch police station. Photo: RNZ / Georgina Stylianou

Bernie De Vere who is spokesman for Ceres New Zealand, which is the demolition contractor behind the implosion, said the building fell exactly as planned.

"A few questions have been asked about why the building is leaning the way it is, it's exactly the way it was planned, the building sitting in its own footprint, we're grateful that the neighbours gave us a little bit of slack so that we could get the job done in time and we're pretty happy with it."

Mr De Vere said the site will be cleared in less than five weeks.

He said he was surprised that so many people ignored requests and came in to the city centre to watch the implosion but the crowd was well-behaved.

The earth quake-damaged 13-storey tower on Hereford Street is the second building in the city to be brought down this way since the earthquakes.

It took contractors 10 months to remove asbestos from the building.

One hundred kilograms of explosives and 2000 metres of detonating cord were used to collapse the building.

The implosion in pictures

Former Christchurch police station before implosion

Photo: Supplied

Christchurch police station implosion

Photo: Supplied

Chch police station implosion

Photo: Supplied

Chch police station implosion

Photo: Supplied

police station implosion

Photo: Supplied