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Earth-shaking blast reduces part of Reser Stadium to a pile of rubble

Reser implosion
Chris Lehman
/
KLCC
The west grandstands at OSU's Reser Stadium were brought down with an implosion.

Part of Oregon State University’s football stadium was reduced to a pile of rubble Friday morning. The implosion is part of a massive renovation project.

Shortly before 8 a.m., more than 60 years of history came tumbling down.

Reser implosion

People more than 10 miles away reported hearing the blast. OSU says more than 10,000 people watched it on a livestream.

A crowd gathered at a safe distance on the OSU campus, including former OSU football player Tim Euhus, who played tight end for the Beavers from 1999 to 2003, and later played for several teams in the National Football League.

“Oh man, I’m still shaking," said Euhus, just minutes after the implosion. "Just the shock to the system from the boom."

Euhus, who lives in the neighborhood next to the stadium, brought two of his children to watch the blast.

“It was really crazy. It was something I’ll remember,” said one of Euhus's sons.

The university says the $153 million Reser Stadium construction project will be done in 2023. The Beavers will play in Reser Stadium during the 2022 season, but seating will be limited.

OSU said using an implosion was more efficient and safer than having crews dismantle it piece by piece.

“Everything literally went exactly 100 percent how we thought it was going to,” said Steve Hatch of Oklahoma-based Dykon Blasting.

Hatch said crews used more than 200 pounds of explosives to bring down the steel and concrete structure.

Crews are now clearing debris from the site, with construction of the new grandstands set to begin next month.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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