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MINNEAPOLIS - A remaining ring beam that made up part of the Metrodome's roof structure has been taken down using controlled explosives.

Officials set off a series of charges Sunday about 7:30 a.m. Within seconds the roof ring fell and several walls collapsed in a cloud of dust.

The 32-year-old facility was being demolished last week, but officials halted work after one part of the ring beam fell out of sequence.

After consulting with structural and demolition experts, the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority recommended bringing down the remaining portion of the ring beam with controlled explosives.

"It was a complete success," said John Wood, Senior Vice President for Mortenson Construction. "It's laying on the ground, so mission accomplished."

Contractors took down the beam using 84 charges of dynamite in 24 columns of the upper concourse.

"This will be the last use of explosives in the demo process," Wood said. "From this point forward it should be a conventional approach."

The public wasn't allowed within 250 feet of the site, and the nearby light-rail station was closed during the demolition.

Wood says Sunday's process did not delay any plans. He said the last pieces of the Metrodome will be gone by the end of April.

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