'A very sad moment': Hundreds watch Yellowknife's Robertson headframe fall to the ground

Hundreds of people surrounded the old Con Mine site in -8 C Saturday evening for what many are calling a 'sad' event. Hundreds more watched from across the world - Australia, Denmark, Georgia - to see the iconic structure fall to the ground.

Many show up for blast at 5 p.m. MT Saturday, hundreds more watch from Australia, N.S., Alaska

At about 5 p.m. MT on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, the Robertson headframe at the old Con Mine site was blasted to the ground. (courtesy of Marino Casebeer)

Hundreds of people surrounded the old Con Mine site — or settled in for the view from the comfort of their homes — to watch the Robertson headframe, what's been an iconic part of Yellowknife's landscape for 39 years, fall to the ground. 

The blast happened around 5 p.m. MT, starting with a jolt of light from the explosions, followed by a delayed bang and then the slow topple of the colourful structure.

At 76 metres tall, the headframe was a beacon along the city's horizon, often that landmark for boaters are hikers. 

The headframe's days have been numbered since the closure of Con Mine in 2003, but the structure had several reprieves due to public outcry and possible preservation options by the city of Yellowknife and the territorial government.

Ultimately, no one wanted to take on the liability and so the headframe had to come down as part of owner Miramar Northern Mining Ltd.'s reclamation plan.

The reaction to the blast on Saturday was felt all around; from comments on Facebook during CBC's live stream... those watching in different parts of the world... the few people who stuck around the site many minutes after the fall, staring into the distance.

These two people stood in the same spot for a little while after the headframe came down. Nearly everyone else had hurried back to their cars, but these two stuck around. (Alyssa Mosher/CBC)

Others had their own take on the demise of the Robertson headframe.

Though the blast wasn't quite as dramatic as seven-year-old Jeddy Kehler imagined...

'The Night the Robertson headframe went up in flames!' by seven-year-old Jeddy Kehler. (submitted by Tracey Bryant)

...perhaps it was the right idea.

Others took the opportunity to pair the Robertson headframe blast with Halloween, like Yellowknife business owner Janet Pacey.

Yellowknife business owner Janet Pacey decided to put her artistic skills to the test and create a rather unique before and after of the Robertson headframe. (courtesy of Janet Pacey)


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