City of New Orleans public safety agencies responded to Saturday’s collapse of a portion of the Hard Rock Hotel. Two fatalities have been confirmed, with one person unaccounted for as of yesterday. Another 18 patients were transported to the area’s hospitals. All but one had been released by Sunday morning.
At 9.12am on Saturday the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) received the reports of a major collapse of the sixth to eighth floors of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site. The frame of the building is considered stable but is unsupported, and therefore the situation is considered dangerous and so residents were required to evacuate immediately.
NOFD has been operating search and rescue operations work to locate the third missing person in the building. NOFD is working closely with engineering teams to develop an action plan with a focus on safety for all involved and will assist in setting up crane operations to help stabilise the building.
“This is not a short-term event. This is a marathon,” New Orleans Fire Department superintendent Tim McConnell said. “We ask people to please steer clear of this and let the first responders do their job.” He added that efforts were under way to try to further stabilise the building. “There is a strong possibility of further collapse.”
Speaking on Sunday, the city’s mayor LaToya Cantrell said: “Search and rescue continues to remain our top priority at this time. We want people to heed all traffic precautions that we have put out as we stabilise this area. This is going to be a long process, and we just want people to pay attention to any advisories that come from the Mayor’s Office of Communications.”