A controlled demolition of part of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, was conducted on Sunday, after three people died earlier this month when part of the building collapsed. Officials set off explosions in order to bring down two cranes left balancing on top of the slopping hotel. Officials feared the cranes would come down no matter what, and potentially fall into surrounding building outside the city’s historic French Quarter. Experts who worked on demolitions following the September 11 attacks were called in to quickly make a plan that would avoid further injury. To place the explosives, workers had to be suspended in a small bucket in order to reach the precarious locations.
The effort appears to have been only partially successful, as one of the cranes—weighing thousands of tons—still looms. The three people who died in the collapse were all construction workers. Two of the bodies remain inside the building, as it is unsafe to access them. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said retrieving the bodies is the next priority after the cranes are fully taken down. The cause of the collapse is still unknown, and an investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration is underway.