Evacuations under way ahead of Bank of Lisbon building demolition

In September last year, a fire ravaged Lisbon building, resulting in the deaths of three firefighters.
Evacuations are under way in the Johannesburg CBD – in preparation for the demolition of the Bank of Lisbon building on Sunday morning.

The implosion will affect parts of Albertina Sisulu, Pixley KaSeme, Commissioner, Fraser and Helen Joseph streets. Business owners and residents are required to head to a waiting area at First National Bank for the duration of the blast. In September last year, a fire ravaged the building, resulting in the deaths of three firefighters.

The building, which has been found to not meet safety requirements, was used to house three government departments. Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC, Tasneem Motara, says they want to ensure the safety of those in and around the area.

“The Bank of Lisbon building is situated at 37 Pixley ka Isaka Seme Street in the CBD, the building is a 31 storey building. Due to the various risks associated with the implosion an exclusion zone will be implemented to safeguard the public. The exclusion zones affect ten buildings with approximately 1828 people. Extensive consultations have since happened and the necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure the safety of all residents and occupants of the 10 buildings,” says Motara.

Parts of Albertina Sisulu, Pixley KaSeme, Commissioner, Fraser and Helen Joseph streets have been closed off in the CBD.

Jet Demolition’s Marthinus Botha says, “The area where we going to be doing the implosion, that has been charged with explosives which have been wrapped with a durable textile material that will prevent any flying debris from escaping the building. In addition to that, the charges have been laid out in such a way that we minimise any air blast during the implosion. The neighbouring buildings will be protected by geo-textile material and shipping containers to make sure they are not damaged during the implosion. In addition to that, we will also do vibration monitoring. Roads will be protected by conveyor belts and buildings will be sealed for dust protection, so I think we are well covered in that area.”

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