NEW ORLEANS — With the two unstable cranes brought down at the Hard Rock Hotel collapse site, the city is turning its attention back to recovering the bodies of two workers killed in the collapse.
City officials held a press conference Monday to outline their plans going forward now that the collapse site is safer for responders to start removing debris.
“Our focus remains on securing the perimeters of the site and moving forward with extraction as well as removing the remains of our victims that are still on the site,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “(the recovery) will be with dignity and it will be with respect.”
The site itself is not completely stable, Fire Chief Tim McConnell said. Even with the cranes brought down, the structure remains dangerous and the safety of rescue workers will remain the top priority.
As debris is removed, the evacuation zone around the collapse site is shrinking. McConnell said that Elk and Basin streets should be open Monday night and that more people will be allowed to return to their homes and businesses as engineers assess the current state of the collapse site.
Hard Rock Hotel collapse site:
Crane Implosion Replay:
Experts, including engineers who worked on demolitions following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, were called in to try to come up with a plan to clear the site and prevent further injury and damage before the cranes fell on their own.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.