How do you safely demolish a 28-story building?

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - After 46 years of state government service, all 28 stories of the Capital Plaza Tower in Frankfort are coming down in less than 30 seconds.

Hillary Thornton

"We'll be using a combination of dynamite and also a product called PETN," project coordinator Jim Santoto said.

PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, is a chemical compound very similar to nitroglycerin.

Santoro works for Controlled Demolition Incorporated. The three-generation, 67-year-old Maryland company claims it has performed 8,000 demolitions.

"We're going to be loading explosives on eight floors of the building," Santoro says, "Three bottoms floors will be what we call our drop floor. That's where we're going to take out the greatest height of column."

This means essentially the bottom floors will collapse, and the rest of the floors will come down in a massive heap.

"When the charges go off, they're going to start on this end of the building, and then move backward," Santoro explains, "They're going from, slicing through the building like a loaf of bread. They're going vertical with the charges."

The implosion is expected to be as loud as a thunderstorm passing over you, and there will be a dust cloud to linger for an hour after the detonation.

A five-story building with as much square footage as the tower will take its place, but it will also be able to accommodate twice as many workers.

You can watch the Capital Tower Plaza implosion live on the CW Lexington Sunday. Coverage begins at 1 p.m.

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