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Implosion Levels Oakland Hills Navy Hospital

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OAKLAND (CBS 5) — A former Navy hospital in the Oakland Hills came crashing down Friday afternoon, demolished by 800 pounds of dynamite.

The 11-story concrete building imploded in a massive cloud of brown dust shortly after noon Friday.

The hospital was the last of about 100 military homes, barracks, stores and other structures that made up the decommissioned Oak Knoll U.S. Naval Medical Center.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Oak Knoll opened in 1942 and treated U.S. soldiers wounded in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

The 167-acre complex was decommissioned 15 years ago and sold at auction in 2005 to Irvine-based SunCal Companies, which had planned to build a major residential development there in partnership with the investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Lehman’s 2008 collapse halted development plans and delayed the medical center’s demolition.

Some Oakland neighbors toasted the demolition Friday with Champagne.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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