By Brian Ojanpa
The Free Press
Top that, David Copperfield. This was the real deal.
It was no illusion Saturday when Mankato’s tallest buildings disappeared into dust and rubble in a few blinks of the eye.
“Wow,” “Pretty impressive,” and “I could actually feel those blasts” were the typical reactions of thousands at Minnesota State University when the 12-story twin towers of Gage dormitories were imploded with dynamite.
It was 64 degrees under cloudy skies when an announcer’s countdown preceded a rapid series of “initiation blasts,” followed by a silent pregant pause of a second or two.
Then, like an oven door slammed on two baking souffles, the landmark structures fell into themselves in a thick cloud of dust.
Let the record show that from the start of the blasting sequence it took 12.23 seconds for Gage Towers to become 3-story piles of rubble.
The implosion went off at the scheduled time of 9:30 a.m., but spectators such as Helen and Bruce Klugherz of Mankato began arriving about 8 a.m. to claim prime viewing spots along the top row of Blakeslee stadium.