Crews make final preparations for Sunday's implosion - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crews make final preparations for Sunday's implosion

Thom Doud installed the last of the explosives into concrete columns inside the Baptist Memorial Hospital building downtown Thursday.

But don't be fooled by all the sticks of dynamite there. Technically they're not actually blowing up the building. Doug Loizeaux of Controlled Demolition said it much more complicated than that.

"We're not blowing up the building by any stretch of the imagination," Loizeaux said. "We're using explosives as a catalyst to start a progressive collapse."

Whatever the technical term is for it, Loizeaux had one promise:

"On a coolness scale," he said. "This will be a ten."

And, it will only take 807 pounds of explosives to bring down the massive structure.

"Which isn't much at all if you consider this is three times larger than Phase A," Loizeaux said.

Phase A was the scene on Mothers Day earlier this year, when the physician's building next door was imploded. That event brought out crowds of spectators. This time, the largest detonation of the year in the United States should bring bigger crowds.

"This has become a spectator sport and honestly so," Loizeaux said. "The problem is people don't understand. They've seen it on TV so much they forget the inherent danger of explosives."

That's why people will be kept a minimum of about 800 feet away. In fact, Loizeaux said the further away you are, the better the view will be.

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