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SA power station chimney down with a bang

AAP logoAAP 9/09/2016 Marnie Banger

Explosives have toppled an 80-metre-high chimney at Port Augusta's closed Playford power station, beginning two years of demolition at the site.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch the first destructive bang at the station on Friday from a long-distance public viewing spot set up by Alinta Energy.

Footage of the explosion taken by a drone camera shows the chimney start to lean as it collapses, narrowly avoiding smashing into a large building on its way down.

"Have to say, it was pretty cool to watch," one observer said on Facebook.

The Playford power station closed in May and a group of locals, Repower Port Augusta, is calling on the government to replace the region's shuttered coal-fired stations with solar thermal plants.

Spokesman Dan Spencer says many of the group's members went along to watch the chimney collapse, hoping it would remind Premier Jay Weatherill of their mission.

"The real motivator for us was the day that it switched off. That really fired us up to get this new investment for the town in solar thermal and today's event just reaffirmed that," he said.

The destruction of a second, 200-metre-tall smoke stack is yet to come.

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