Defunct steelmaker’s 21-storey headquarters imploded

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (AP) — Sixteen thousand tonnes of Bethlehem Steel collapsed in a matter of seconds yesterday as a demolition crew imploded Martin Tower, the defunct steelmaker’s former world headquarters in the United States (US) .

Crowds gathered to watch the demolition of the area’s tallest building, a 21-storey monolith that opened at the height of Bethlehem Steel’s power and profitability but had stood vacant for a dozen years after America’s second-largest steelmaker went out of business.

Explosives took out Martin Tower’s steel supports and crumpled the 47-year-old building, which had earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places despite its relatively young age.

The implosion created a dust plume expected to linger for several minutes before settling to the ground.

Martin Tower’s current owners spent years trying to redevelop the 101-metre structure — the tallest in a heavily populated region that includes the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton — but ultimately concluded it made more economic sense to knock it down and start over.

Plans call for a USD200 million development.