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Demolition of Spanish tower will take a year

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SPANISH OFFICIALS are working on a two stage plan to demolish Madrid's fire ravaged Windsor Tower (NCEI last month).

The first plan will consider the physical requirements for deconstruction.

The second is to control health and safety of workers, while protecting neighbouring buildings and the public.

Two 40t capacity cranes, with 140m vertical reach, have been moved onto the site and started work.

'The demolition will take about a year. First of all the crane that is on the top of the building will be removed, ' said Madrid Emergency Response team member CÚsar Gomez.

'Nobody will work inside the Windsor building. The workers will always work from the cranes, ' he said.

CE vice-president and Jacobs Babtie director Gordon Masterton told NCEI that this work will be critical if contractors are to avert an uncontrolled collapse.

'Everything that they do will have to be very carefully thought out in terms of how it will alter the existing load path, ' he said.

'The building might be stable but it is perhaps only just stable. It has to be engineered, not demolished, ' he said.

panish officials said demolition will be a 24 houra-day operation with rubble and debris moved at night to minimise congestion in the busy business district of Madrid.

The no go area around the tower has been reduced from a 500m radius to 60m.

Officials said that scaffolding and netting will be erected around the building to support it and reduce the likelihood of flying debris.

In addition Madrid's regional government this week started to inspect all 242 buildings over 50m tall, to check that the fire prevention and detection systems met the regional code, set in 2003.

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