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Demolition begins Sunday at Joplin hospital

Monday, January 23, 2012 | 2:25 p.m. CST

JOPLIN — Perhaps the most well-known and obvious reminder of the tornado that devastated Joplin in May is about to come down.

Demolition work will begin Sunday at St. John's Mercy Hospital in Joplin, the hospital that was virtually destroyed in the May 22 twister that killed 161 people in the southwest Missouri community.

St. John's Mercy president Gary Pulsipher said taking down the hospital is another step in the recovery process for Joplin.

Implosion is not an option because of old lead mines beneath the ground. So crews will use a wrecking ball to tear down the hospital's west tower. Specialized grappling equipment will reach up 15 stories to pull down the east tower.

Demolition work is expected to take six weeks.


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