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Opening with a bang: Glasgow high-rises to be demolished during Commonwealth Games ceremony

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are to open with a bang.

Organizers announced Thursday that the July 23 opening ceremony will include the live destruction of several high-rise buildings that dominate the Scottish city's skyline.

The 30-story Red Road apartment blocks were built in the 1960s as modern replacements for slum housing, but became emblems of urban deprivation and are slated for demolition.

Games organizers say five of the six remaining blocks will be destroyed by 1,250 kilograms (2,756 pounds) of explosives in a 15-second "blow-down," broadcast live at the Celtic Park stadium during the ceremony. Residents of 887 nearby properties will be temporarily evacuated.

Ceremony chairwoman Eileen Gallagher said the destruction would show that Glasgow "is a city that is proud of its history but doesn't stand still."