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NEW ORLEANS – After the planned implosion on Sunday afternoon, New Orleans is moving into the “search and extradition” phase.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell says a sewer line was damaged in the controlled explosion but that they are happy with the results. The goal was to get the cranes down and make the area safer, and they believe they have done so. The gas and electric lines are still intact.
New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell says that he doesn’t think the implosion could’ve gone much better. Engineers are still assessing the building. Residents were concerned as one crane looks to be hanging over Canal Street, but McConnell says, “it’s way better than what it looks like.” One crane came down at the rear of the building, where there was already a partial collapse and the other crane hooked on to the building, which is “what we wanted,” according to McConnell. In order to remove that ‘hanging’ crane, they will need to use another crane and remove it piece by piece.
The next objective is to remove the victims from the site. Although no one had been in the building at the time of the press conference, Cantrell and McConnel say that they are fairly certain the bodies were not moved by the controlled explosion. They say that the building is still very unstable, and they still don’t know the cause of the collapse.
Cantrell says that she knows that the Saenger Theatre sustained damage to three windows, but has no information in terms of other buildings. WGNO confirmed earlier today that some windows at the Roosevelt Hotel sustained damage as well.
Cantrell says once the bodies are removed, the expectation and next mission is full demolition.