Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

As the initial rescue operations continued, General Services Administration, the owner of the Murrah Building, contacted Robert Hill, Vice President of the Dallas-based structural engineering firm, Brockette, Davis & Drake and Mark Loizeaux, President of Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) of Phoenix, Maryland to evaluate the integrity of the structure and to identify the extent of demolition required for that portion of the structure which did not fail in the initial collapse. Robert Hill quickly determined that the main tower of the Murrah Building was damaged beyond repair and that the safest methodology for demolition of the damaged structure was implosion.

While final decisions concerning the demolition were being made, CDI was contracted by the GSA to salvage sensitive government paperwork from the building prior to demolition.

Granite was salvaged from undamaged portions of the building to later be used in a memorial for the victims of the bombing. Doug Loizeaux, Vice President of CDI, coordinated the operation and hired NADC member, Midwest Wrecking to assist with the salvage operations. Midwest Wrecking had been on site since the April 19th bombing, assisting with rescue operations. Ben Kates and David Densmore of Midwest Wrecking coordinated salvage operations with CDI.

Once the final determination was made to implode the building, CDI mobilized a crew to commence preparation activities. It was determined that the 3-story, underground parking lot located to the south of the structure, and literally touching the Murrah Building, was structurally sound and an attempt would be made to minimize damage to the adjacent garage.

Preparation operations for the implosion were more sophisticated than those required for a "normal implosion operation." When a structure is imploded, the contractor relies on the structural integrity of the building being demolished to assist in the control of the fall of the structure. In the case of the Murrah Building, the structural integrity of the building had been compromised by the terrorist blast, therefore, reconstructive operations had to be conducted to augment the structural integrity of the building in order to control its fall away from the adjacent parking garage.

CDI crews worked on a fast-track basis to prepare the structure for subsequent explosives placement. Less than 150 pounds of explosives placed in 420 locations was used to fell the structure.

At 7:00 am on Wednesday, May 24, 1995, the remains of the building that was the target of America's deadliest domestic terrorist attack crumbled neatly in seven (7) seconds. The results of the implosion surpassed expectations. The Murrah Building fell as planned, leaving the adjacent parking structure intact.

The implosion proved to be a catharsis for the American People who had watched the tragedy unfold since the bombing of April 19th. It was now a time to begin the healing process and start a new chapter for Oklahoma City.