Demolition Begins

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HAZLETON -- There were some delays in correcting what Hazleton officials called a dangerous situation.

A 130 foot smokestack was crumbling in the city’s heights section, and officials feared it would collapse on some homes and businesses.

With a two-man crew dangling over a 130 foot tall smokestack, demolition work finally began.

Crews started taking down the stack brick by brick, knocking them down inside the tower.

On Friday, city officials deemed the smokestack unsafe, as there were cracks and missing bricks.

Fearing the stack may collapse, businesses in a nearby strip mall were closed, and residents living nearby were advised to leave.

Work finally got underway Monday afternoon, delayed for hours, because the first crane brought in wasn`t tall enough to reach the top of the smokestack.

A taller second crane was fit for the job. It was a job that brought out many to watch.

“That`s a landmark in Hazleton. I don`t know what they`re going to do today, I know they went up in the basket, the two men, I think they`re chipping away at it,” said Louise Matweecha of Hazleton.

“I used to work here a long time ago and I figured I`d come out to see that come down, I didn`t think it would take this long,” said Cathy Kutasko of Hazleton.