The Latest: Hotel collapse: Blasted cranes fell as expected

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Authorities say the demolition of two cranes leaning precariously over a partially collapsed New Orleans hotel went exactly as expected and the “next objective” is to retrieve the bodies of two dead workers still in the ruined building.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell told a news conference after Sunday afternoon’s controlled explosions of the cranes that “we know that we are safer now than we have been in the past eight days” since the hotel collapsed.

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She told reporters near the hotel site that authorities will now begin focusing on bringing out the two remaining workers who died when the Hard Rock Hotel under construction collapsed Oct. 12, killing three workers. One body was removed earlier.

Fire Chief Tim McConnell said one sewer line was damaged by falling debris from the blasts but overall, “I do not think it could have gone much better.” He says part of one crane fell and got “hooked on the building like we wanted. It’s very stable.” He says it will be cut away in pieces and removed. The other crane crashed to the ground.