LIMESTONE — A Portland company planning the state’s largest ever implosion today literally didn’t get enough bang for its buck.

Engineered Products Co. of Riverside Street, Portland, was hired to implode Central Heat Plant, a 64-year-old plant at the former Loring Air Force Base, a giant base in Aroostook County, just five miles from the Canadian border.

But after the dynamite exploded shortly after 11 a.m., the Center Heat Plant still stood.

Two of its 230-foot smoke stacks collapsed to the ground — and the building dropped 18 feet and teetered back and forth — but it never fell, said Jennifer Gregor, operations manager anr marketing coordinator for Engineered Products.

Gregor blamed the failure on Precision Explosives of New York, which she said oversaw the dynamite portion of the project. Dave Evans, president of Precision Explosions, didn’t immediately return a message left on his cellphone.

“We’re devising plans to get the rest of the building down,” Gregor said. “Those will be ready by early next week.”


About 300 people crowded onto the former base, now known as Loring Commerce Center. Many of them held cameras and cellphones as the demolition readied, hoping to capture the historic event.

But when the cloud of dust settled, most of the building still stood, onlookers said. Gregor said the rest of the demolition — whenever that takes place — will not include explosives.

Jason Singer can be reached at 791-6437 or:

[email protected]

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