Search continues Sunday for missing hotel collapse victim

Two confirmed dead in Saturday disaster

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
October 12, 2019 - 11:58 pm



The search continued Sunday for a person trapped inside the Hard Rock Hotel after the building partially collapsed without warning on Saturday morning. 

Rescue operations were suspended Saturday night but continued Sunday to find the remaining victim trapped inside the buildng. Emergency crews made entry into the building, officials said Sunday morning, and a 110-ton crane transported from Baton Rouge was used to stabilize another large crane that remained unsupported on the hotel.  

“It is still very unstable,” New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said of the building. "This will be a marathon." 

City leaders closed a large part of the area and were evacuating other buildings near Canal and North Rampart streets because of concerns that more of the Hard Rock, which was still under construction, could fall.

“The crane is still in place, but it’s unsupported,” McConnell said. He also likened the rescue operation for those missing to the aftermath of an earthquake. 

Officials say they have confirmed that two people died in the Saturday's collapse of the under construction Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans.

"We can confirm that we have lost two people, a third has not been found just yet, so we don't know," Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a briefing after 11:00pm.

"We have some heavy, heavy equipment you will see coming in to stabilize the building," he explained. "Sunday we will proceed further into the building."

Of the injured workers, Cantrell said all but one person was well enough to be released from the hospital.

EMS transported 18 people and several others went to the hospital on their own.

Officials say it is still far too early to determine a cause of the collapse.

“This is not a short-term event. This is a marathon,” McConnell said. “We ask people to please steer clear of this and let the first responders do their job.”

There were 112 people on the construction site when the collapse occured.

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