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16 November 2012
30 Tonne Blast at Airport Site
Largest blast to date on St Helena
Rock blast for the St Helena airport project on Prosperous Bay Plain
Blast on the airport site, viewed from Millennium Forest, Bradley's Camp in foreground

Damien O'Bey, SHBC

Basil Read carried out a blasting operation on Prosperous Bay Plain at noon on Friday 16th November. This blast was the largest under the project to date and the largest blast ever on Island.   An estimated 30 tonnes of explosives was used to shift rocky outcrops in the Dry Gut area, as works continued to fill the 8.1 million cubic metre gut in readiness for runway construction.

Members of the public viewing the blast from the Millennium Forest
Members of the public viewing the blast from the Millennium Forest

Around 80 members of the public, many who took time off work to witness the event, gathered at a designated viewing area in the Millennium Forest, overlooking Bradley’s Garage and Prosperous Bay Plain. 

At noon large plumes of dust shooting into the air, was the first sign that the blast had begun, followed 3-4 seconds later by loud rumbles that could be heard Island wide.  Natalie Lawrence was one of the bystanders who witnessed the blast.  "I came out around 11:45," said Natalie, "there was a big hype surrounding the event so I thought I would come out to have a look.  It was interesting to watch, I didn't really know what to expect, but it was interesting."

Mario Green is a Basil Read Employee, who had the opportunity to view the blast.  "It was quite spectacular," said Mario, "bit of a  shock really.  It all happened quite fast.  The dust gives you an indication of how big the blast actually was.  I think if we had been allowed to go closer we would have felt the effects of the blast better.  I'm a bit disappointed that it was over so fast but it was a good blast."


St Helena news archive November 2012



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