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WATCH | 'Yoh!' - Building of death collapses

24 November 2019 - 09:39 By Iavan Pijoos

The Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg was demolished on November 24 2019. The demolition followed a deadly fire that took the lives of three firefighters in 2018.

A siren, a loud explosion and then dust.

The ground trembled when the Bank of Lisbon collapsed, as onlookers shouted: "Yoh!" 

A siren wailed just after 9am, warning those in the area that the building, which claimed the lives of three firefighters in a blaze last year, was about to be demolished.

A crowd of people had gathered in Johannesburg's city centre, some with children on their shoulders, some on rooftops of neighbouring buildings, and others behind their camera tripods, to witness the event.

The 31-storey building, which used to house the Gauteng departments of health and human settlements, went down in a matter of seconds. It was declared unsafe after the deadly fire.

Dust covered the air and once cleared, the building that brought unspeakable heartache to the families of the late firefighters, was no more.

Jabulile Sibeko travelled all the way from Alberton on the East Rand to see the implosion on Sunday morning.

“It is sad that a building that took so many years to build, can be demolished in less that five minutes.

“I have never seen an implosion before, so I brought my seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter so that we can experience it together as a family.”