Gone in 9 seconds: Illegal Indian skyscraper demolished

AFP

Over 3,700 kg of explosives were used to raze the apartment blocks on the outskirts of India's capital New Delhi on Sunday after the top court ruled builders had violated several safety guidelines.

Thousands of people were ordered to vacate their apartments for about 10 hours on Sunday, and traffic was diverted around the Apex and Ceyane towers on the edge of a busy highway.

Scores of police and emergency personnel were deployed for the operation on the 103-metre tall towers, which have 850 unoccupied apartments.

The Supreme Court last year ordered the demolition of the towers in the Noida area after a long legal battle found they violated multiple building regulations and fire safety norms.

Sudeep Roy, owner of a four-room apartment in a nearby low-rise building, said he booked hotel rooms last week to spend the night with family and friends.

"It is best to stay away from the blast site for 24 hours because the air will get toxic and we don't know how it can impact our health," said Roy, a mechanical engineer and father of twin boys, one of whom suffers from asthma.

The blast will leave over 80,000 tonnes of rubble, most to be used to fill the site and the rest to be recycled.

Some buildings in the vicinity were covered in white plastic sheets to protect them from debris flying after the demolition. Residents said they feared damage to their properties from the force of the blasts, a rare occurrence in India despite rampant illegal constructions.

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