Photos: The implosion of the Georgia Dome

Nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives were used to blast the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to smithereens

A dust cloud engulfs the Mercedes-Benz Stadium following the implosion of the Georgia Dome, which was next door to the stadium, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Atlanta. The Dome was the home of the Atlanta Falcons, hosted Super Bowls and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games among other sporting events. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — One of the nation’s largest domed stadiums collapsed Monday into a pile of jagged concrete and a vast cloud of smoke in a scheduled implosion in downtown Atlanta.

Watch the implosion at the bottom of this story

Nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives were used to blast the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to smithereens at 7:30 a.m. Onlookers gathered at skyscrapers’ windows, at a revolving hotel-top restaurant, in parking lots and on nearby streets to watch the controlled destruction of the landmark stadium.

The dome opened in 1992, and it was flattened in just about 15 seconds. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which includes the 71,250-seat dome, had said it would take 12 seconds for the explosives to go off plus another 3 seconds for sections of grandstands to hit the ground.

The explosives went off in a spiral around the stadium as it collapsed on itself. A vast debris cloud hovered over the site before slowly drifting across downtown.

The dome has been replaced by the $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium next door.

A 5-story tall industrial strength curtain between the two stadiums had been erected to protect the new venue from damage, officials said. Only 83 feet — less than 30 yards — separated the two venues.

The new stadium is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United.