4 Apr 2014

Five tower blocks to be blown up

11:45 am on 4 April 2014

Five towering blocks of flats that have been part of Glasgow's skyline for almost 50 years will be blown up as part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on 23 July.

They'll be brought down in just 15 seconds - live on TV - in the biggest demolition of its kind ever seen in Europe. They are being demolished as part of a regeneration project.

Built in the mid-1960s, the 30-storey structures were once part of an eight-tower precinct housing more than 4000 people. One block came down in 2012 and another in 2013; one which is currently used to house people seeking asylum in Britain will remain.

Games organisers have promised that the Red Road flats demolition will be one of the most memorable moments of the competition and a symbol of the city's regeneration, the BBc reports.

They have been a iconic presence on the Glasgow skyline for almost 50 years and inspired many books and films. In 2006, director Andrea Arnold used them as the setting for her film Red Road, and Alison Irvine's 2011 novel This Road Is Red was based on interviews with people living there.

"The Red Road flats were very popular in their day and hold a special place in many people's hearts," says Gordon Sloan, who chairs the Glasgow Housing Association. "But they are just no longer viable as modern homes."

About 2000 people who live near the site will have to move out for the evening. More than a tonne of explosives will be needed to do the job.

Soon only one will be left standing.

Soon only one will be left standing. Photo: AFP