Demolition of a 60-year-old industrial landmark took place this morning in Dilles Bottom, Ohio, across the Ohio River from Moundsville, West Virginia. Thousands gathered to witness a smokestack over 800 feet tall collapse.
People came out in droves with lawn chairs, drinking coffee and orange juice to sit on the edge of the Ohio River and watch the R.E. Burger smokestack fall 854 feet out of the sky. And fall it did - like a giant in slow motion.
It took 450 pounds of explosives to drop the concrete stack and the 170-foot boiler house that created steam to generate electricity.The plant began operation in 1944. Owners FirstEnergy retired the coal-fired power station in 2011.
A FirstEnergy spokesperson said their company just finalized an agreement with U.S. subsidiary of the Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical. The agreement would transfer the property to PTT should executives decide to move forward with construction of an ethane cracker plant at the site.
A local economic development organization JobsOhio worked with PTT and FirstEnergy to demolish the property, in hopes of turning the site into a more attractive investment opportunity.
PPT is expected to make a final decision in early 2017.