Hope dwindling of finding missing worker alive at Hard Rock collapse site

Tropical weather threat complicates planning

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
October 16, 2019 - 1:40 pm

Hope is dimming of finding a missing worker alive at the construction site of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse.  Search teams are getting close to redefining the mission.

Crews are getting increasingly closer to giving up hope of finding anyone alive in the rubble.

"We will probably be transitioning from rescue to recovery no later than tomorrow morning... if we have no more signs and given the nature of the collapse this many days out," New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell told reporters.

Today is the fifth day of the search. 

The chief says they are still committed to recovering the remains of the missing man and the victim who's body they have already located, but not removed.

"We'll take every action to recover the remains for these families," McConnell promised.

Meanwhile New Orleans Homeland Security Chief Collin Arnold is monitoring a low pressure system that could develop in the Gulf of Mexico sending wind and rain to the region this weekend.

"Potentially one to two inches of rain and winds in the 20 to 25 to 30 mile an hour range are possible if this develops further and comes toward our area."

Arnold says they are taking the threat seriously.

"This has certainly developed a sense of urgency with the engineering team."

They fear it could further collapse the building or the construction cranes that are already compromised.

For now, he says it is too early to know if the system will develop or even come toward Southeast Louisiana.

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