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Demolition fails to topple South Dakota tower

Demolition fails to topple South Dakota tower

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Thousands of spectators gathered Saturday to watch the demolition of the city's tallest building - but the Zip Feed Mill tower was no pushover.

The 202-foot-tall concrete structure dropped slightly, leaned a little - and stopped. Onlookers at viewing spots all over downtown groaned and gasped - with a few jokes mixed in.

"The leaning tower of Zip," one woman said.

"The building won!" yelled another man to the cheers of onlookers.

The abandoned feed mill elevator, widely considered the tallest building in South Dakota, was being demolished to make way for office and retail space.

Crews had drilled holes into the tower's supporting columns and stuffed them with explosives, intending to drop the tower like a falling tree. However, the rear of the tower was so rotten that it wasn't stiff enough to push over, said Jim Redyke, president of blasting specialist Dykon Explosive Demolition of Tulsa, Okla.


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