Leaning tower of Christchurch to be New Zealand's biggest demolition

13:34, May 25, 2011      

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The 26-story Hotel Grand Chancellor, which has been towering over the earthquake-stricken city of Christchurch at an angle, is to come down in New Zealand's largest-ever demolition, the government announced Wednesday.

The building in central Christchurch, New Zealand's second city, was structurally damaged in the Feb. 22 quake that killed 181 people, and was left leaning noticeably.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the size and nature of the job meant the demolition could take up to a year.

"This will be the largest demolition ever carried out in New Zealand," Brownlee said in a statement.

"It's also hugely symbolic for the people of Christchurch that the recovery process is well underway."

He said the sooner the demolition of larger unsafe buildings began, the faster the authorities could reopen closed areas and rebuild the city.

"As the hotel comes down in height it will mean that safer access will gradually be possible to nearby buildings and streets. "

The demolition would begin in "the next few weeks", said the statement.

However, further work to reinforce the interior of the hotel would be carried out first to allow the retrieval of property that fleeing guests left behind.
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Source: Xinhua
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