2. SOUNDBITE (English) LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans Mayor:
"We know that we are safer now than we have been in the past eight days. We'll fill you in about that. We are also moving now as it relates to bringing our victims out of that building."
3. Street view of the demolition
4. SOUNDBITE (English) LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans Mayor:
"Moving from the explosion to the very next step is search and extraction. We were able to put a monitor on one of our victims that we knew where he was lodged to help us identify and pull him out of rubble as soon as possible."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tim McConnell, Fire Chief:
"I do not think it could have gone much better. If you look at the front crane, it went down exactly as we would have expected it to do. And the rear crane of the back portion came down right outside the building where we already had a partial collapse and stuff in the street, its exactly where it landed. At the mere mention, it damaged the sewer line. That was the least of our worries. We prepared for it. The surging water board had a plan to reroute it. They're doing that now to ensure that we're good. But the gas line that we were worried about in the electric lines, we believe they are OK. And we think we're going to be fine. That is really, really good."
6 . SOUNDBITE (English) LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans Mayor:
"The expectation and the next mission after we remove our people from the site will be full demolition."
Officials in New Orleans say their controlled demolition went "exactly" as planned and efforts would now focus on retrieving two bodies still inside the ruined building.
The fiery afternoon explosions sent up massive clouds of dust and sent one crane crashing to the street while the second fell in a way that left much of it resting atop the ruined hotel building where officials said it was "stable" and could be removed piecemeal.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared the demolition a success at a news conference.
"We know that we are safer now than we have been in the past eight days," she said, referring to the partial collapse Oct. 12 of the Hard Rock Hotel that was under construction near the historic French Quarter.
Three workers had died when several floors of the multistory building pancaked that day. Only one body could be removed in the days after the collapse.
The two construction cranes had been left badly damaged when the hotel's upper floors collapsed atop each.
The cranes — one around 270 feet (82 meters) high, the other about 300 feet (91 meters) — weighed thousands of tons.
They had been tilting dangerously, and officials had feared the towers would come down on their own, possibly smashing into nearby buildings or severely damaging underground gas and electric lines.
Loud alarms were sounded as curious throngs were kept blocks away before the blasts rocked the quiet of a Sunday afternoon.
Cantrell told reporters afterward that authorities will now begin focusing on bringing out the two remaining workers. Already, workers were beginning to remove rubble from the streets shortly after the blasts.
Fire Chief Tim McConnell, flanking the mayor, said a sewer line was damaged by falling debris from the blasts but efforts were under way to begin repairs.
He also said officials were relieved that nearby gas and electric utilities appeared undamaged after a preliminary assessment.
The remains of one worker has been removed from the building days ago, but the bodies of the other two are still inside.
Authorities said getting the bodies out was the next objective, though they cautioned that the building remained dangerous and unstable, but it did not collapse further with Sunday's demolition.
Building collapses , Structural failures , Accidents , Accidents and disasters , General news , Explosions , Industrial accidents , Water and sewer line construction , Heavy construction industry , Construction and engineering , Industrial products and services , Business
New Orleans , Louisiana , United States , North America