IN 2001 the army was called in to help topple an out of date water tower somewhere near Exeter.
One of the organisers decided to make the exercise a public one and newspapers and television were invited along to capture the moment the tank was brought down. So a large viewing platform was erected especially for the photographers and TV cameras.
The officer in charge then spent five minutes explaining just how sophisticated plastic explosives were and how the charge would cut the supporting legs clean in half and bring it down.
Guess what… a huge explosion occurred and half of the press crew were blown backwards off the platform, causing one or two to miss the detonation all together. Then to add insult to injury it hadn’t worked – the tower was still in one piece!
The glow from red faces was bad enough but the stifled sniggering by the press core was almost deafening.
So the whole tower was refitted with explosives, the press moved back 50 yards and a second detonation did the job, but it was a heavy jolt in the chest and the bang sent rooks and crows off in all directions.