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Austria's tallest building demolished

A 265 metre-tall TV transmission tower that had been Austria’s highest structure was demolished yesterday (Weds) afternoon on Vienna’s Bisamberg.

The 252 metre high Donauturm (Danube Tower) on the east side of the Danube River has now become Austria’s highest structure.

Florian Pfeffer from Alpine construction company, the general contractor for the demolition, said 15 men had planned the event in two months, a record time since "we usually plan such an operation six months ahead of time." He added that the 80 tonnes of steel in the demolished tower would be recycled.

Workers used 21 kilos of military explosives at three locations on the tower to bring it down before around 1,000 spectators at 3pm. They used the explosive at one location on an adjoining transmission tower only 120 metres high to bring it down at around noon.

The first demolition was delayed for 45 minutes because Christian Almeder, 36, refused to leave his house near the towers and chained himself to a fence in his garden in protest against the action claiming "the transmission tower is a cultural object."

Police cut him free and took him to a police station until after the second demolition.

The fate of the 25 hectare site on which the towers had stood and which is owned by the city of Vienna and state broadcasting agency ORF has not been decided on  yet.

The towers had been used only intermittently since 1995, and were destroyed because of the high cost of maintaining them.

The first broadcasting installation at the site was erected in 1933 but destroyed by the Nazis in 1945. The demolished towers were erected in 1959.

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