The evacuation area in downtown New Orleans has been expanded as rescue operations continue at the scene of a Hard Rock hotel that collapsed while under construction over the weekend.
According to a statement by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the New Orleans Fire Department expanded the evacuation area surrounding the collapse late Monday following further engineering assessments. The area now includes buildings on the uptown side of Canal Street from Elk Place to Burgundy Street.
2pm #Update: Due to engineering assessments of the #HardRockCollapse, the @NOLAFireDept is calling for a slightly expanded evacuation area. Area now includes the buildings on the Uptown side of Canal Street from Elk Place to Burgundy Street. Details at https://t.co/AyuRn37IF4⚠️ pic.twitter.com/vla7H7MPut— NOLA Ready #HardRockCollapse (@nolaready) October 14, 2019
The Mayor’s office also reported that road closures are still in place following the collapse, and that it is advised to avoid all nonessential travel to the downtown area. The Regional Transit Authority’s central hub remains relocated to its headquarters at 2817 Canal Street. A list of public transportation changes is available here.
The Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans collapsed Saturday while under construction, killing at least two people and hospitalizing 30 others. The new hotel, which at one point had been scheduled to open this spring, was to be housed in a new, 18-story building blocks from the city’s Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which is the sixth largest in the country. Plans called for the hotel to have 350 rooms, along with four meeting spaces and two ballrooms, for a total of approximately 12,000 square feet of event space.
“Citadel Builders LLC was contracted by Kailas Companies, owner of the project, to build the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans based on a brand licensing agreement with Hard Rock International, the future manager of the hotel,” Hard Rock International said in a statement on the collapse. “Hard Rock has had no involvement in the construction of the project. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to victims of this tragic accident and to their loved ones and friends.”
There is still no word on what caused the collapse, but previously Mayor Cantrell had promised a “relentless” investigation into the incident.