MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) — Officials in Medellin are turning a page on their city's past with the demolition Friday of an apartment building that former cartel boss Pablo Escobar used to call home.
Rogelio Gomez is the engineer in charge of the demolition. He says that 180 detonators were used to topple the Monaco building and 1,500 people were evacuated for safety reasons.
The explosion took place at 11:53 local time and sent a cloud of dust 10 meters (33 feet) into the air.
Mayor Federico Gutierrez has vowed to build a park from the rubble in memory of the thousands of victims of Escobar's Medellin drug cartel in the 1980s and 1990s.
The building in Medellin's Poblado neighborhood was gutted by a bombing in 1998 and has stayed an unoccupied eyesore ever since.