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Demolition of hotel cranes in New Orleans delayed until Sunday

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Oct. 19 (UPI) — The controlled demolition of two cranes at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site has been delayed from Saturday until Sunday to better prepare the area, the city of New Orleans announced.

The city had planned to take down the cranes one week after two floors collapsed.

The Krewe of Boo parade, scheduled nearby for Saturday, had been originally canceled.

“The cane demolition at the #HardRockCollapse postponed to Sunday. #KreweOfBoo will roll tonight at 6:30pm on alternate route,” the city posted on Twitter. “There will be LARGER temporary evacuation & exclusion zones put in place.”

Small explosives were placed at the site so the cranes can collapse in a precise location.

The city had planned to place evacuation door hangers at residents’ homes four hours before the demolition. Officials want to avoid major gas line and electrical wires that service the French Quarter and the Central Business District.

The New Orleans Fire Department is requesting utilities to be shut off in the evacuation zone.

The Louisiana Department of Environment has been monitoring for dust particles at the construction site.

“There are no dust particles being picked up,” the agency posted on Twitter. “Monitoring will continue during and after the controlled collapse.”

The 18-story building collapsed on Saturday, killing three people and injuring 30 others. Fire Chief Tim McConnell said 112 people were working inside the building at the time of the collapse.

McConnell said the upper six to eight floors of the planned Hard Rock Hotel collapsed.

Florida-based Hard Rock International is building an 18-story hotel with 350 rooms for hotel guests along with 62 one- and two-bedroom units for purchase.

Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in Orleans Parish after the collapse.

The city also has been threatened by tropical weather, including strong winds.

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