The Glasgow Commonwealth Games will literally begin with a bang when a group of long-standing high rise buildings are blown up as part of the opening ceremony.
The unique plan was announced on Thursday with Glasgow officials aiming to “wow the world” and make a statement about the Scottish city’s focus on regeneration.
Organisers say the “blow-down” of five of the city’s six remaining Red Road flats using explosives will take just 15 seconds and be the biggest demolition of its kind seen in Europe.
The demolition will be shown live on a big screen at the Celtic Park ceremony on July 23 and to a worldwide television audience.
The 30-storey structures were built in the mid-1960s and were once the highest flats in Europe.
They are being demolished as part of a Glasgow Housing Association regeneration project.
“By sharing the final moments of the Red Road flats with the world as part of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is proving it is a city that is proud of its history but doesn’t stand still,” Glasgow 2014 ceremonies chairwoman Eileen Gallagher said.
“A city that is constantly regenerating, renewing and re-inventing itself.
“Glasgow’s story is always one of its people; their tenacity, their genuine warmth, their ambitions.
“Marking the end of Red Road is very much a celebration of all of those things.”
An iconic presence on the Glasgow skyline, the original eight tower blocks once housed 4,000 people.
With two of the buildings removed since 2012, the demolition of five more will leave just one, which is currently being used to house people seeking asylum in the UK.
Contractor Safedem will use around 1250kg of explosives to bring the five tower blocks down and 887 homes will be evacuated from the surrounding area with an exclusion zone set around the site.