Bank of Lisbon building where three firefighters died to be demolished

The Bank of Lisbon building in Simmonds Street, Joburg CBD, shortly before its demolition.
The Bank of Lisbon building in Simmonds Street, Joburg CBD, shortly before its demolition.
Image: Iavan Pijoos

A crowd of eager spectators gathered in Simmonds Street in Johannesburg's city centre on Sunday morning to witness the demolition of the Bank of Lisbon building where three firefighters died last year.

Fathers carried their excited young children on their shoulders, as armed police officers patrolled the streets around the building, from where a large banner with the words "Jet Demolition" hanged.

Hassan Mtangalu, who has been living in the Johannesburg city centre for five years, said he was at the scene at 6am to witness the building collapse.

“It will be my first time seeing something like this. I am excited to see what happens.”

Onlookers have set up cameras to record the event.
Onlookers have set up cameras to record the event.
Image: Iavan Pijoos

Ederesse Armien travelled all the way from Eldorado Park to be there.

“I’m always there when they demolish buildings. The first one I saw was the one of Bank City in the late 1990s.

“I have a big interest in buildings, every time that I walk in town, I’m fascinated by these buildings in the City.

“When that building falls, it’s a part of us who also goes down. That building is part of our lives,” Armien said.

The demolition was expected to happen before 9.30am.

The streets around the Bank of Lisbon building had been closed off ahead of the demolition.
The streets around the Bank of Lisbon building had been closed off ahead of the demolition.
Image: Iavan Pijoos

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