New Orleans: Blasts demolish cranes as search for bodies begins in collapsed hotel

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Three workers died when several floors of the multi-storey building collapsed on 12 October.

Controlled explosions have been set off to topple two cranes that had loomed precariously for days over a partially collapsed hotel in New Orleans.

Authorities in the southern US city will now focus on retrieving two bodies still inside the ruined building.

The explosions sent one crane crashing to the street, while the second fell in a way that left much of it resting on the ruined hotel building where officials said it was “stable” and could be removed in pieces.

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell said: “We know that we are safer now than we have been in the past eight days.”

Image:Lawsuits are already being filed against the project’s owners and contractors

The Hard Rock Hotel, which was under construction near the historic French Quarter, partially collapsed on 12 October.

Image:The cause of the hotel’s collapse remains unknown

Officials in Louisiana had feared the towers would come down on their own, possibly smashing into nearby buildings or severely damaging underground gas and electric lines.

The cause of the collapse remains unknown.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating and, the city’s mayor said evidence gathering began soon after the collapse.

Lawsuits are already being filed against the project’s owners and contractors, on behalf of some of the more than 20 people injured.

Credit: Sky News

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