Crane begins tower's demolition

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 12:35 23/04/2012
Daniel Tobin

The demolition of the Christ Church Cathedral's tower began today.

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

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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.

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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