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Blast masters: Alan and co fire the last explosion on aircraft site

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The final explosion on the St Helena airport project
Last blast: the final explosion on the St Helena airport project

The dust has settled on three years of explosions on St Helena’s airport construction site: the final rock blast of the entire project took place on Prosperous Bay Plain at 5.20pm on Friday 20 March 2015.

It achieved its objective, with 975kg of explosives yielding about 3,700 tonnes of rock near the site of the navigational directional beacon that will help guide aircraft towards the runway. The slopes of the hillside will be safer as a result.

explosion sequence by basil readClick here to see a sequence of explosion pictures

Blasting supervisor Alan Hudson and his team have been praised for the part they have played in moving more than 10million cubic metres of rock since work began.

Most of it was ferried, truckload by truckload, into Dry Gut to create a level area long enough for the runway. Explosives were also used to clear the route of the access road up from Rupert’s Bay.

A total of 383 controlled explosions have taken place for the airport project. The number of misfires and safety incidents was: none.

PICTURES: Explosion! 
VIDEO: 5,000 tonnes of explosives and fuel by the shipload: why St Helena’s airport builders are careful with matches

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