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The Latest: New Orleans starts to demolish cranes

The Latest on demolition of cranes in New Orleans (all times local):

2 p.m.

New Orleans officials have set off a series of explosions designed to topple two cranes that had been looming precariously over the ruins of a partially collapsed hotel.

The demolition was carried out Sunday afternoon, a little more than a week after the shocking collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel that was being built near a corner of the city's historic French Quarter. Loud blasts reverberated quickly as the cranes fell.

The two cranes were badly damaged when the hotel's upper floors collapsed onto each other on Oct. 21. Three workers died in the collapse.

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

City officials in New Orleans are planning to use a series of controlled explosions to take down two cranes that have been standing precariously over the remains of a partially collapsed hotel.

The operation was originally set for Friday and then pushed back to Saturday. Then on Saturday, officials said it would happen on Sunday.

Fire Chief Tim McConnell said as workers got up closer to the cranes to set the explosives, they discovered the cranes were more damaged than originally thought. That changed the plans they had for taking down the cranes.

The Hard Rock Hotel under construction at the corner of Canal and Rampart Streets at the edge of the historic French Quarter partially collapsed Oct. 12, killing three workers.

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