NEW ORLEANS (AP) The city of New Orleans is preparing to explode two giant, badly damaged construction cranes that are towering over a partially collapsed hotel project. They hope to demolish the cranes Friday with a series of controlled explosions that would drop them straight down without damaging gas and electricity lines and historic buildings at the edge of the French Quarter.
Fire Chief Tim McConnell said they're working quickly to collapse the multi-ton structures. Forecasters said a tropical storm could kick up stiff winds and rain by Friday night, and authorities worry the unstable cranes could tumble out of control.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell cited the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel and the coming storm in declaring a state of emergency that empowers police to seize property and force people out of dangerous areas.