Pensioner blows up flats

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The Independent Online
Peggy Seaton, a pensioner, teamed up with the environment minister Hilary Armstrong yesterday to change a city's skyline when they pressed buttons to bring down two 16-storey blocks of flats above a hillside in Sheffield in controlled explosions.

The blast, using 120kgs of explosives which converted the tower blocks into 24,000 tonnes of rubble, came at exactly the same time as the Yorkshire- based contractor Controlled Demolition had arranged to blow down a 10- storey office block 4,000 miles away in Rockville, Montgomery, near Washington DC in the United States.

Charles Moran, managing director of the company, said: "This is the first time we've blown down buildings simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic." Mrs Seaton, 74, was chosen to help Ms Armstrong set off the Sheffield blast because she has lived so long - 32 years - on the Norfolk Park estate where the flats stood. Thousands of people turned out to watch the explosion.