One person is dead and three more are missing after a construction collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Witnesses of the incident described feeling the ground tremor as cloud engulfed the area near the under-construction hotel. Four search and rescue dogs are being used to locate those who are still missing.
Responders are worried about another collapse as two cranes are still dangling from the damaged building. According to New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell, the cranes and structure are still very unstable. McConnell revealed that crews are concerned that the upper six to eight floors of the structure have collapsed. Nearby buildings have been evacuated because of the potential for another collapse.
Officials are urging all nearby residents and visitors to stay away from the area because of falling debris and the potential for another collapse.
What We Know About the New Orleans Construction Collapse So Far
The Hard Rock Hotel has been under construction at the corner of Canal and Rampart Streets. The collapse occurred at approximately 9:12 AM. A video captured the moment the collapse, and people on the street could be seen fleeing falling concrete and steel. One worker told reporters that he believes approximately 45 people were working inside the building at the time of the collapse.
Matt Worges was nearby when the accident happened and said, "It looked like the concrete just slid from the top all the way down to the street. The concrete just started to slide down the side,” Worges said.
Worges was studying on the 23rd floor of the Tulane School of Public Health. From his vantage point, he could see first responders arrive and people moving around to help survivors of the collapse.
"One guy—I don't know how he was spared—there was rubble all around him," he said. That man was eventually able to climb down a fire truck ladder.
Keith Director, another witness who was driving on the street below, described watching in horror from the street below as he spotted two workers hanging as a crane was “just sort of dangling there.”
Arnold & Itkin’s New Orleans construction accident lawyers will continue to follow this story as responders continue to locate and rescue those who are still missing.