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Large Sections Of Coney Island AstroTower Dismantled, Hauled Off

Concerns About Stability Prompted Partial Demolition
AstroTower Demolition

The AstroTower at Coney Island was partially dismantled Saturday morning. (Credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Massive cylinders that were once part of the iconic AstroTower were hauled away on flatbed trucks Saturday morning, after crews partially dismantled the tower amid concerns about its stability.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the tower came down piece by piece, as people watched in sadness.

One man, David, said he has visited Coney Island more times than he could count. The 42-year-old told Hall he was sad to see the AstroTower being dismantled.

“It’s been here all my life. I’ve seen it all my life growing up, playing in this park,” he said. “Sure, I miss this thing.”

David said he was surprised workers waited until one of the busiest weekends to tear the tower down.

“I thought they were going to get it right after the storm, but I guess they thought it was safe – I don’t know,” he said.

A woman, Rochelle, has been at Coney Island every day taking pictures of the demolition.

“It was a part of the Coney Island skyline since 1964. It’s just a part of Coney Island history,” she said. “Another one of many that has been demolished.”

The Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel and some other famed New York amusements were shut down for days after concerns about the tower swaying in the wind prompted a 911 call this past Tuesday afternoon.

A 250-foot “collapse zone” was set up around the tower, WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reported. The radius included much of Luna Park along with Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone – both of which are operated separately from the amusement park. Parts of the Coney Island boardwalk were also affected.

The Astrotower, which was installed in 1964, has not been in use since 2010. It once offered visors 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Brooklyn.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)