Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Athlone Towers – a photo montage

Credits to all posters of the following images and videos of the Athlone Cooling Towers in Cape Town (also known as the “coffee cups” and "the two ladies of Athlone").

Here’s a nice blog giving the history of the “coffee cups” (by Andrew Boraine, Chief Executive of the Cape Town Partnership):

I’ve been through most of the Tweets using the HashTag “#CapeTowers” and found these gems of pictures and videos… Athlone Towers RIP, I’ll miss you every day I drive to and from work!

Built in 1968, served its purpose well for 25 to 30 years.

The towers were scheduled to be demolished at noon, however, 4 minutes before noon, they were imploded… was that a ‘premature detonation’?  Heard on eTV news: “the authorities saw that the weather conditions were perfect.”

RT @rogeema: Dear people of @CapeTown...not the mayor's fault the #capetowers blew early. He didn't push the button, his switch was a dummy!

@mrtuckbox: Explosive guys’ call, as the rain stopped and wind was right or had dropped, hence 3 mins early. Towers go BOOM!:
Stunning picture of the imploding:

Right tower flops over, rather gracefully:

Video of the Athlone Towers falling (credit to 

Video on implosion:  

Video from News24:

implosion at 210 frames per second (credit:, video by Justin Mopp) Login to FaceBook:

Roughly 7000 explosive cord and water-based gelignite charges were used to implode the towers.  Explosives were placed around 2/3 of the base of the towers which forced the towers to fall towards each other and downwards.  The explosion was estimated to be 135 decibels, the same sound-level a jet would make.  Resulting on over 21,000 tonnes of concrete that now needs to be cleared up.
Credit: MsBlondeSam (forwards and reverse and in slow motion) (credit to

Video of the implosion:

Best footage of the Cape Athlone Towers imploding - Remember the name Century Film School filmed by Costa Firfilis:


Credits: sarin54


Video by Padraic O'Meara:

What’s left of the Towers (credit: @iamzeed : What's left of the towers

An aerial view after the implosion - seems like there's so little rubble? (thanks to @retiefdv for pointing me to this one): 

Credit Rubble: this is the neatest destruction job ever! Hats off to the engineers!AthloneTowersRubbleHatsOff

The N2 will never be the same without Salt & Pepper :(

See the News24 article on the implosion: 'Ladies of Athlone' tumble ahead of time

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