Controlled demolition scheduled for unsupported cranes on Hard Rock site

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At Hard Rock New Orleans, this is the plan for the ‘only way’ to remove damaged cranes

City and state leaders hope the use of explosives by demolition experts will safely bring down two teetering cranes at the site of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans.

[UPDATE: The controlled demolition has been moved to Saturday around noon.] and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate will  broadcast a live video feed of the work later Friday. Reporters and photographers also will be at the site live-tweeting updates. Follow their coverage below.

A time for the demolition hasn’t been given, but New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said officials want to do it before dark Friday.

Officials hope to knock down the cranes that were damaged during Saturday’s collapse of the top floors of the hotel, which was under construction at Canal and North Rampart streets. Authorities said it’s imperative the cranes are brought down in a controlled manner before any potential bad weather spun from a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico hits the region.

If the cranes were to come down on their own, say because of high winds or some other reason, authorities fear they could cause extensive damage to the area, including to neighboring buildings near the construction site.  

The top floors of the hotel suddenly collapsed Saturday morning, sending tons of debris to the ground and trapping some workers inside the rubble. Three people were killed, and dozens more were injured. Authorities believe two bodies remain in the wreckage. 

One body is believed to be between the two cranes, and the other is believed to be in the back of the building on the Iberville Street side, according to city officials.

New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell said they will do everything they can to recover the bodies that are still at the scene but must consider the safety of emergency officials.

You can follow live updates below as the cranes come down. It’s not clear yet what time demolition will start Friday.


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