I was thinking more along the lines of stupid. Incredibly stupid.
Actually, this is done here in Japan as well. Someone once explained to me that it's necessary when buildings are reinforced against earthquakes - they can't be easily imploded with explosives. They have special attachments for the backhoe that look like a huge pair of bolt cutters, and are used to cut through reinforcing bar.Also, they generally don't allow detonating explosives in crowded urban areas, at least not around here.