Crane begins tower's demolition

04:19, Apr 23 2012
Crane begins on tower
FINAL MOMENTS: A crane has begun the final stage in the demolition of the cathedral's tower.
Cathedral tower April 23
FINAL MOMENTS: The cathedral's tower shortly before its final demolition begins.
Heavy machinery arrives
HEAVY MACHINERY: The demolition equipment arrives.
Rubble falls
BROKEN: Rubble falls from the condemned tower.

Work has begun to remove the remains of the Christ Church Cathedral tower.

A large ''nibbler'' began to tentatively pull masonry from the tower at 11.40am. Masonry was pulled from the top of the west wall of the tower.

It is not known how long it will take to demolish the tower. Depending on the strength of the tower remains, it could take between two days and a week.

The upper part of the tower collapsed during the February 2011 quake and more was demolished last year to make it safe.

Crane begins on tower
FINAL MOMENTS: A crane has begun the final stage in the demolition of the cathedral's tower.

The north wall and the interior of its base were removed last year.

Pulling down the remains of the tower will allow workers to remove more stained-glass windows from the cathedral.

So far, stained-glass panels have been removed from nine of the cathedral windows and replaced with boards.

Anglican leaders have said that most of Christ Church Cathedral will be taken down over the next year, leaving walls about two or three metres high.

Bishop Victoria Matthews has said the remains of the cathedral will be turned into a prayer garden once  deconstruction is complete.

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