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Power-Plant Towers Collapse in Seconds

Massachusetts plant had burned coal since 1963
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2019 11:27 AM CDT
One State Bids Adieu to Last Coal-Fired Plant
Smoke rises from the rubble of the two 500-foot cooling towers of the former Brayton Point Station after explosive charges demolished the structures in Somerset, Mass., on Saturday, April 27, 2019.   (Dave Souza/The Herald News of Fall River via AP)

(Newser) – In a matter of seconds, two 500-foot cooling towers from Massachusetts' last coal-fired power plant have been reduced to rubble, the AP reports. The controlled demolition went off as scheduled at 8am Saturday at the former Brayton Point Station in Somerset. Live video showed the giant towers along Mount Hope Bay implode and a large cloud of dust rise into the air. The plant had burned coal since 1963. It closed in 2017 as environmental groups pushed for cleaner sources of energy generation. The new owners of the property plan to turn the site into a multi-use facility mainly dedicated to supporting off-shore wind farms.

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Long considered an eyesore by residents in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, many residents happy to see the plant gone held demolition watch parties Saturday. "I'll be glad to see them come down," a Bristol resident tells ABC6. "You know, they do spoil the view." An environmental activist was more explicit: "Brayton Point spewed pollution into the air and the water in the communities for over 50 years," said Amy Moses of the Conservation Law Foundation. "We're really excited that tomorrow, the last visible sign of this dirty, fossil fuel power plant, will be gone."

(Read more coal stories.)

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