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Former Redcar steelworks torn down in one of UK’s biggest explosive demolitions

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former steelworks has been torn down in what is believed to be one of the biggest explosive demolitions in the UK.

Dramatic pictures of the 65-metre-tall (213ft) Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) plant in Redcar being blown up emerged after Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen pressed the button to detonate on Saturday morning.

According to the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the demolition, which used around 1.6 tonnes of explosives, is one of the largest of its kind ever to take place in the UK.

Mr Houchen described the moment as “bittersweet” but said the building, which is thought to have held around 105,000 tonnes of steel, had remained unused since its closure seven years ago.

The plant shut down after 98 years in 2015 when SSI UK, which purchased the site in February 2011, was liquidated.

It stopped production in the same month when it was announced there was no realistic prospect of buyers taking it off the Thai owners.

Mr Houchen said: “Each demolition of the former steelmaking structures on this site is a bittersweet moment as they have played such a huge part in shaping our communities, people and identity for decades,” he said.

“Ever since the SSI steelworks closure brought so much heartache to our region almost seven years ago to the day, this plant has laid dormant and unused.

“While we remember our past, we must never lose sight of the reason we’re doing this. I made a promise to build a better future for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool and today is another part of delivering upon that.

“We’re already seeing that just a few hundred yards away, with construction under way on SeAH Wind’s huge offshore wind manufacturing plant – a £400 million investment already creating good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people.

“It’s soon to be joined by Net Zero Teesside and the 5,500 jobs that will be created just to build the £1.5 billion power plant with carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

“We’re continuing to clear the way to bring more cleaner, safer and healthier industries of tomorrow, creating good-quality jobs for local people.”

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