NewsCovering Louisiana


Controlled blasts to bring down cranes at collapse site

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Posted at 3:06 PM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 16:12:30-04

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Authorities in New Orleans say explosives will be strategically placed on two unstable construction cranes in hopes of bringing them down with a series of small controlled blasts ahead of approaching tropical weather.

Officials hope to bring the towers down Friday without damaging nearby businesses and historic buildings in and around the nearby French Quarter. They also want to avoid damage to electrical and natural gas lines.

Fire Chief Tim McConnell said work was to begin Thursday, with workers suspended in buckets using torches to weaken the multi-ton towers in key spots. The taller crane is about 300 feet (91 meters) high.

An 18-story hotel project under construction collapsed Saturday , killing three workers. Two bodies remain in the wreckage.

Wind from an approaching tropical system could affect the area by Friday night.

Watch the full press conference below: