EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSAK Steel Coke Plant Demolished in Ashland
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Jul. 24, 2013 3:14 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 19, 2013 3:24 AM EDT
Ashland , Boyd County , Kentucky
Aug. 18. 2013
If you live in the Ashland area, chances are you heard a big boom Sunday morning.
The explosion was the sound of AK Steel's coke plant being demolished.
“It was a hot hard nasty job,” plant employee Steven Bevis said. “But the people we worked with were great people. It was very hard for me today. It was sad to see it go.”
In a matter of seconds, several structures at the closed AK Steel plant came tumbling down in a controlled demolition.
About 100 people lost their jobs when the coke plant closed two years ago. In December, a fire broke out at the plant.
The implosion was quite the spectacle and was nostalgic for Bevis.
“You’re not only seeing the memories and history we had there, but it’s also a loss for our community as well.”
The goal now is to redevelop the property for new jobs in the Ashland area.
“We definitely need more jobs,” Melinda Ross of Ashland said. “There are hardly any the way it is. They should build more, the way things are today, you can just barely make it.”
Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles said the city has some prospects for the site and he hopes to get the Environmental Protection Agency involved with the cleanup to help speed up redevelopment.
The plant was a piece of eastern Kentucky history and kept many families on their feet.
“Not only did it provide well for my family and community, but I also had a lot of friends from there,” Bevis said.
Redevelopment of the site is expected to take about a year.
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