Officials Blow Up Damaged Cranes At Collapsed Hard Rock Hotel
Two cranes have been demolished more than a week after the Hard Rock Hotel collapsed in New Orleans, killing three and injuring dozens of others.
The half-finished 18-storey building caved in on October 12, sending debris flying metres into the streets near the city's historic French Quarter.
More than 100 construction workers were at the site at the time, 30 of which were taken to hospital with various injuries.
The body of one worker was immediately pulled from the wreckage, however, the bodies of two others remain inside the building, according to the Associated Press.
Before they could be removed, rescue crews needed to demolish two cranes that had been dangling dangerously above the remains of the building for several days.
Authorities held concerns that they would come down on their own, smashing into nearby buildings and taking out gas and electricity lines.
"It is a damaged crane," New Orleans Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell said. "You’re not bringing down something that’s new construction. This thing is being brought down because it’s highly damaged".
On Sunday afternoon, an exclusion zone was set up and warning sirens rang out as authorities carried out the controlled explosions.
Flashes of light can be seen before a massive dust cloud settled in over the building as one crane crashed to the ground.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has confirmed the recovery of the two bodies that remain inside are the top priority.
A number of those injured have filed a lawsuit against the construction companies involved.
It accused the businesses of negligence, claiming the construction materials used were inferior and not strong enough to support the upper floors, according to the Washington Post.