Hard Rock Hotel Collapse Leaves at Least Two People Dead

  • The upper floors of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans collapsed on Saturday
  • Two construction workers confirmed dead, with another worker still unaccounted for
  • Rescue efforts have been hindered due to the instability of the building's structure
Construction rubble
Two workers have been confirmed dead and rescue efforts are continuing for another following a collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orelans. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Rescue efforts ongoing

Rescuers are continuing efforts to try and find a construction worker who remains unaccounted for following a collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans.

The collapse occurred on Saturday morning, with two men already confirmed dead. One of the bodies remains inside the building.

Over 30 other people were injured as a result of the collapse. Only one of the injured parties remains in hospital after undergoing surgery for a fractured femur.

A harrowing incident

Witnesses of the collapse at the downtown New Orleans construction site described seeing “a massive cloud of dust and rubble” on Saturday morning. One witness said:

It looked like the concrete just slid from the top all the way down to the street.”

According to witnesses, the upper floors of the building collapsed at approximately 9:10 a.m. At the time, there was around 45 people working inside the building.

Unstable building

According to the New Orleans Fire Department, the building is still very unstable following the initial collapse.

Ten nearby buildings have been evacuated, with shows at the Saenger Theater across the road from the casino also being canceled. The cause for the collapse is still unknown.

LaToya Cantrell, he mayor of New Orleans, has said that a “relentless” investigation into the incident will begin once the rescue mission concludes.

Rescuers are using dogs and drones during ongoing search efforts to try and locate the final missing worker.

Plans for the site

Development of the 18-storey Hard Rock Hotel began back in February 2018. Plans outline that it will feature a 350-room hotel, a casino, and a number of condos upon completion, which was scheduled for 2020. This date will now be put back.

A statement issued by Hard Rock International following the collapse stressed that the company has had no involvement in the construction of the project. The statement went on to extend sympathies to the friends and families of the victims of this tragic incident.

The owner of the project, Kailas Companies, hired the project’s contractor, Citadel Builders LLC. According to the contractor’s website, the project budget is $85m. The company is now working closely with the city to try to stabilize the building.

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