November 16, 2007
Was someone in the Crowne Plaza when it was imploded?

KHOU was the first to report on the story of the Crowne Plaza implosion mystery, in which a shadow in video taken just before the big boom have led to questions about whether a person might have entered the place. The Chron reports that police are investigating.

A video given to police appears to show a figure inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel moments before it was imploded last week, officials said.

The video, police said, is very short and inconclusive, but appears to capture what may be a figure running on one of the upper floors just before the explosion and seconds before the structure collapsed.

"It seems to show movement just prior to the implosion," said Sgt. Nate McDuell, a Houston Police Department spokesman. "But that hasn't been confirmed to be human."

Still photos, investigators added, show no images of a person.

Investigators searched the rubble Thursday, but no body was found, police said. Other videos officials took of the implosion show shadowy movements, McDuell said, but they appear to be blowing cardboard or other debris.

"No video is definitive," McDuell said. "All you see is shadows."


Officials with the demolition firm, Cherry Demolition, said security measures at the site before the implosion included a fence around the site as well as 24-hour security personnel.

Company workers searched the building before it was demolished, Leonard Cherry, a company co-owner, said in a statement released Thursday.

"And immediately prior to the implosion," Cherry stated, "a 300-foot safety barrier was established with loud speaker notification of the pending implosion."

Company officials all the firm's workers at the site were accounted for.

Cherry stated that company crews will use appropriate equipment to excavate a portion of the site as directed by the police to aid in their investigation.

It may take several more days, he added, to clear the area.

Swamplot has more. I'm not convinced there's anything there, but obviously we need to search, just to be sure. I certainly hope I'm right about this. Stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 16, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston