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Video: Hard Rock Cranes Imploded

With the cranes down, the search for the remaining dead resumes

Brian Young's picture
Oct 21, 2019

On Sunday, more than a week after the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans collapsed, officials finally removed two cranes from the wreckage and have begun searching for the bodies of the two remaining workers.

Video from the scene showed the cranes tumbling to the Earth after explosives were strategically placed and detonated. While the implosion successfully took down one crane, the other could be seen dangling from the building. An initial assessment from New Orleans Fire Department Chief Tim McConnell found that the dangling crane was currently stable and hooked to the building. The implosion also caused damage on the ground as a sewer line was damaged and three windows were broken at the Saenger Theatre next store.

The cranes, which weigh hundreds of tons and are about 270-300 feet high, had been tilting dangerously. Officials feared that they could come down at any point, possibly smashing into surrounding buildings or taking more of the hotel with them. Officials felt that a controlled implosion would be the safest way to remove the unstable cranes.

Now that the cranes are down, the city will embark on a search effort to recover the two bodies of workers who died in the collapse. Mayor LaToya Cantrell stressed that extracting the victims from the site was the main priority. According to CNN, one victim was already identified and had a locator placed next to his body.

Once the bodies are recovered, the site will be completely demolished. "To be clear, I don't want anything salvaged on this site. We want a complete demolition," Cantrell said.

Once the bodies are recovered and the building is demolished a full investigation into the cause of the collapse can take place. One theory, that the extra weight of the newly installed pool caused the collapse, is being debunked by the pool company. Chester Pool Systems Vice President Greg Carnforth reached out to UCOMM Blog to let us know that contrary to the news that was reported in the hours after the collapse, the pool was not placed at the top of the building, but rather on the 9th-floor deck. This would have put the pool below the section of the building that collapsed. Carnforth said that a pool was being planned for the roof, but that Chester Pool Systems hadn’t even shipped it yet and that it is still sitting in their warehouse in Indiana.

“As a Subcontractor to Citadel Builders, Chester Pool Systems is saddened by the events at the Hard Rock Hotel site in New Orleans,” Carnforth said in a statement to WWL-TV. “To clarify, Chester is under contract for two stainless steel swimming pools. The pool that is shown in the reports was installed on the 9th floor two days prior to the collapse and is still in place. The planned rooftop pool has not been installed and is being held in our Southern Indiana manufacturing facilities.”

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