Rescue operations and road closures are continuing in downtown New Orleans following the weekend collapse of a Hard Rock hotel that had been under construction.
According to the latest statement from the office of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the response remains in “rescue and recovery mode” as first responders continue to work to recover one deceased person and locate a missing person whose status is unknown.
The city expanded the evacuation area around the collapsed hotel Tuesday after officials determined that two cranes at the construction site were unstable. The evacuation zone expanded to buildings facing the uptown side of Canal Street between Burgundy Street and Elk Place. It had already included the area surrounded by Conti, Bienville and Burgundy Streets.
Our LA Task Force 1 has been in the building multiple times times on rescue missions to search for our missing residents. Please continue to keep the missing, families and first responders in your prayers. Our Health Dept has supportive services onsite for all. #HardRockCollapse pic.twitter.com/HGVbmfNaiZ— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) October 15, 2019
Mayor Cantrell further reported that the city is working with engineering experts from around the world, including those who worked on the response to 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, to determine the best options for stabilizing the two cranes.
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.