In New Orleans, awaiting orders to get out ahead of blast

In New Orleans, awaiting orders to get out ahead of blast
A ship floats on the Mississippi River by the Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed last week. (Sophia Germer/The Advocate via AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — People living and working near a corner of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter are being told they should prepare to leave for several hours as preparations continue for a controlled explosion at a partially collapsed building.

Workers hope to safely bring down two giant, badly damaged construction cranes that have been looming over the site ever since a hotel building under construction partially collapsed a week ago. Authorities expect to complete preparations and bring down the cranes in a series of controlled explosions as early as Saturday afternoon. They’ve been worried all week that the structures could topple onto neighboring buildings.

Three workers died in last weekend’s disaster. Two bodies remain amid the wreckage. An existing evacuation zone around the site will be expanded when preparations for demolition are complete.