The Latest: New Orleans delays plans to collapse 2 cranes

The Latest: New Orleans delays plans to collapse 2 cranes
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) — The Latest on efforts to remove two damaged cranes from hotel collapse site in New Orleans (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

New Orleans officials say they must delay plans to topple two cranes that had been looming precariously over the ruins of a partially collapsed hotel. The planned explosion to down the cranes will now take place Sunday, no earlier than noon.

The delay comes a week after the shocking collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday that was being built near a corner of the city’s historic French Quarter.

The two cranes were badly damaged when the hotel’s upper floors collapsed onto each other.

Three workers died in the disaster.

Officials had feared the cranes would come down on their own, possibly hitting nearby buildings or severely damaging underground gas and electric lines.

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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.