NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The city demolished two cranes at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site on Sunday (Oct. 20). They came crashing down on Rampart and Canal streets around just after 2:30 p.m.
The demolition was delayed throughout the day. The city first gave a heads up about the demolition around 11:30 a.m., however it was later pushed back to 1:45 p.m. and then finally came down more than an hour later.
One of the cranes was still partially hanging over the hotel.
The exclusion zone was reopened shortly after the cranes came down.
City leaders said the city is safer than it has been in the past eight days. Crews are now working to remove the bodies of the two victims who were killed during the collapsed on Oct. 12. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she hopes the bodies are removed before Monday.
NOFD Fire Chief Tim McConnell said the situation is better than it looks, regarding the crane still hanging on the building. He said it hooked on the building as it was planned.
Cantrell said the next “mission” is to fully tear down the structure.
Three windows were broken at the Saenger Theatre and a S&WB line was damaged during the demolition.
McConnell said the building is still a dangerous area. He said it is too soon for a timeline on when the building will be totally secure.
The mayor said they are quickly trying to shrink the evacuation zone.
No injuries were reported during the demolition.
The building was scheduled to be demolished on Saturday, but due to unsafe conditions and crane stabilization issues, the demolition was pushed back about 24 hours.
New Orleans police wrapped up roll call around 7 a.m. and officers started to close streets in the evacuation areas and other areas that could be affected by the work.
The city released a modified map of evacuation and exclusion zones that essential cover the most historic area in New Orleans.
The City will communicate to the public when it is safe to return. All individuals in the affected area should text HARDROCK to 888777 to receive those notifications.