FDNY Explosives Unit Earns an A

The implosion of an 11-story building on Governor’s Island on June 9 was accomplished with just 364 pounds of dynamite, with seven fire prevention inspectors overseeing the operation.

The implosion of an 11-story building on Governor's Island on June 9 was accomplished with just 364 pounds of dynamite, with seven fire prevention inspectors overseeing the operation.

The New York City Fire Department's Explosives Unit experienced a building implosion on June 9 for the first time in more than a decade, when a former home for U.S. Coast Guard families on Governor's Island was brought down to make room for athletic fields and parks. The job was overseen by the Explosives Unit. According to FDNY, seven fire prevention inspectors "oversaw the safety and transport of the 364 lbs. of dynamite, 1,000 blast caps and 8,000 ft. of cord used in the implosion."

This was the largest non-historic building on the island. Jim Lauer, chief inspector of the unit, said the explosives were transported across the harbor to the island in the previous days. With about 900 holes drilled in the beams on the first, third, and seventh floors of the building and loaded with the dynamite, CDI, the company in charge of the implosion, scheduled 29 individually timed detonations so it would fall away from the seawall.

The debris will be recycled for the new park. The building was too tall to demolish piece by piece, Lauer said.

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