Memphis Landmark Collapses

November 6, 2005--Posted at 10:45 p.m. CST

MEMPHIS-- Thousands of spectators showed up to watch the 50 year old Baptist Memorial Hospital building in downtown Memphis turn to rubble this morning.

It took about 20 seconds for the building to come down, and the resulting dust cloud took less than ten minutes to clear, revealing a four-story pile of rubble measuring about 240,000 cubic

Wind blew the cloud to the east of the main public viewing areas though some spectators covered their noses and mouths with masks.

The collapse created minimal vibrations, which shook the ground briefly. Officials estimate debris will take almost a year to clean up.

In the 1990s, admissions began to decline at the hospital and it
was closed. Once the hospital debris is gone, the complex will be used by
the Bioworks Foundation to build a 1.3 million-square-foot bioscience research park.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)