The Latest: Crane explosion planned Saturday in New Orleans

1 / 22

Hotel Collapse

A person lights a candle during a candlelight vigil outside city hall for deceased and injured workers from the Hard Rock Hotel construction collapse Sat., Oct. 12, in New Orleans, on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The vigil was organized by various area labor groups. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the collapse of a hotel building under construction in New Orleans (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

Plans to explode two giant, badly damaged construction cranes towering over a partially collapsed New Orleans building have been pushed back to Saturday.

Officials had hoped to bring the structures down Friday, ahead of an approaching tropical weather system.

But Fire Chief Tim McConnell says the risky work of preparing the series of controlled explosions isn't expected to be completed until Saturday. Forecasters say a tropical storm could form Friday in the Gulf of Mexico. It's now expected to track east of the New Orleans area but officials still worry that winds could cause an uncontrolled collapse of the cranes onto neighboring buildings.

The most likely time for demolition will be around noon Saturday, although officials haven't ruled out doing it sooner.

Three people died in the weekend collapse. Two bodies remain in the wreckage.


7 a.m.

The city of New Orleans is preparing to explode two giant, badly damaged construction cranes that are towering over a partially collapsed hotel project. They hope to demolish the cranes Friday with a series of controlled explosions that would drop them straight down without damaging gas and electricity lines and historic buildings at the edge of the French Quarter.

Fire Chief Tim McConnell said they're working quickly to collapse the multi-ton structures. Forecasters said a tropical storm could kick up stiff winds and rain by Friday night, and authorities worry the unstable cranes could tumble out of control.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell cited the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel and the coming storm in declaring a state of emergency that empowers police to seize property and force people out of dangerous areas.