Second Smokestack Toppled at Asarco

ABC-7 Reporter Whitney Burbank

EL PASO, Texas — About 20,000 tons of steel came down with a boom as the second of four Asarco stacks was demolished on Tuesday.

“What we’re bringing down today is the stack from the acid plants,” said the trustee of the former Asarco site, Roberto Puga.

Steel from the 300-foot structure will be scrapped and resold. To bring it down, crews cut the bolts at its base. Then the old stack was pulled to the ground by a 1-inch-thick steel cable attached to a front-end loader, forever changing a familiar view.

“For the course of the entire year, I think the landscape out here, and this iconic property, has changed drastically,” Puga said. “People who’ve seen have seen the commute on I-10 have seen the site slowly come down. “t started to go from on old industrial site to a flat piece of property.”

As the stacks fall one by one, Puga insisted they leave room to benefit the community.

“There’s a hope in the city that this could be rejuvenated with a more appropriate use,” Puga said.

There are still two larger stacks to go. Puga said those probably won’t come down until February of next year.