In preparation for the India skyscraper demolitionof two 40-story towers in a residential neighborhood outside of New Delhi, Indian authorities began removing thousands of residents from their houses on Saturday, according to officials and local media.
According to local authorities, the implosion of the twin, 103-meter-tall residential buildings, which will take between 12 and 15 seconds, will make them the largest buildings ever destroyed in the nation.
Last year, the Supreme Court of India declared that the two skyscrapers had to be demolished because they had broken several important construction regulations.
The structures known as Apex and Ceyane, which are situated on the edge of a key highway connecting India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh to the nation's capital, will be destroyed using more than 3,700 kilos (8,100 pounds) of explosives.
As police gathered nearby and blocked off main routes in preparation for the operation, local television photos showed the towers wrapped in white plastic sheets.
Residents in the area must leave by early Sunday, and they will be able to go back to their houses five hours after the demolition is finished.
Large building demolitions are uncommon in India's cities, despite the prevalence of unlawful construction there.
Residents who live close to the demolition site expressed concern for their homes due to the force of the explosions or the dust's potential to pollute the air.
The 103-meter (338-foot) tall skyscrapers crumbled after a controlled demolition, and those watching from rooftops of surrounding high-rise buildings applauded and clapped as the dust engulfed the residential area.
After a protracted legal struggle, the Supreme Court last year ruled that the towers in the Noida area had broken numerous construction codes and fire safety standards and ordered their removal.
According to reports in the local media, at 2:30 pm (0900 GMT), more than 3,700 kg (8,100 pounds) of explosives were used.
Explosives were set carefully to ensure that the region would sustain little damage.
Police reported that they were determining whether any damage had taken place.
Locals promised to inspect whether their buildings had sustained damage.
In India, despite the prevalence of illegal construction, such demolitions are uncommon.
Numerous police officers and emergency personnel were sent to the bomb scene to help with the destruction of the buildings that contained 850 vacant flats after thousands of people had evacuated their homes nearby for almost 10 hours.
Firefighters were using water sprinklers to reduce the dust levels surrounding the Apex and Ceyane buildings, which had stood on the brink of a key highway connecting India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, to the nation's capital.
Traffic was slowly starting to resume.