|The old Palas Hotel|
(Scroll down for video) If you like large buildings being destroyed then this is for you.
Within seconds, a seventeen-story hotel collapsed on Sunday, after months of delay.
The old Louisiana Palas Hotel located in New Orleans on Canal Street, also known as the Grand Palace, was blown up at 8:00 am with 400 tons of explosives, creating a huge plume of smoke. State officials said that the demolition went smoothly.
The city closed several streets and Interstate 10, before and after the demolition. The interstate was reopened Sunday morning.
The demolition was carried out to make way for the new University Medical Center, a hospital that will be built to replace the old Charity Hospital, which closed after Hurricane Katrina flooded the basement of the hospital.
Palas Hotel was one of the last remaining buildings at the site where the new hospital is being built. The building, originally called Claiborne Torres, has changed hands several times since its opening, but since 1950 has sat as an abandoned hotel.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the implosion "a milestone" for the city and its plans to build a biomedical corridor.
The demolition was originally scheduled for November 20 and then rescheduled after officials were dealing with issues like permits. As of December 18, officials delayed the demolition twice after environmental regulators had concerns about the hazardous materials within the structure.
Contractors will remove debris left behind by the hotel during the upcoming months, state officials said.
State officials said about 200 people were evacuated before the implosion took place with about 126 residents and their pets staying in hotels. In addition, 14 residents of the Iberville public housing complex were bused out of the area before the implosion. Some urban residents were concerned about dust from the demolition.