Video shows crane demolition at site of Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans

Engineers planned controlled explosions to mitigate further damage at the site of the destroyed Hard Rock Hotel where three people died on Oct. 12.

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By Doha Madani

Two giant cranes were demolished with explosives on Sunday at the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans where three people died earlier this month.

The demolition was originally scheduled to occur on Friday, but high winds forced city officials to postpone the destruction multiple times. Engineers planned a controlled collapse to mitigate further damage at the site of the destroyed Hard Rock Hotel where three people died on Oct. 12.

New Orleans police and fire departments instituted temporary evacuation zones Sunday, moving area residents to a relocation area while the demolition was underway.

New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell said Saturday that the cranes were "more damaged than we thought," which required "changes in methodology" for bringing them down safely.

Both cranes appeared to remain partially upright against the 18-story structure after the controlled explosions, according to NBC affiliate WDSU.

The historic Saenger Theatre and the New Orleans Athletic Club buildings, both built in the 1920s, appeared to be safe from any damage after the explosion.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that the recovery of two bodies that remain inside the site would become the top priority once the Hard Rock Hotel construction site was deemed safe. The National Guard has been brought in to assist in the search and recovery of those victims.