• Hard Rock Hotel collapse: Crane demolition delayed until Sunday

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    NEW ORLEANS -

    Officials believe three people were killed after the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, which is under construction, collapsed Oct. 12. City officials said the demolition of the cranes at the construction site will be delayed until Sunday, no earlier than noon.

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    Update 1:55 p.m. EDT Oct. 19: City officials in New Orleans said the demolition of two damaged cranes at the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel has been delayed until Sunday. In a tweet, NOLAReady, the City of New Orleans' emergency preparedness campaign, said the Krewe of Boo parade in the French Quarter, originally canceled, will go on as scheduled Saturday night.

    At a new s conference, New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell said new information about the damage to the cranes led to the delay, WWL-TV reported. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told reporters she would not sign off on nighttime demolitions. 

    Update 11:45 a.m. EDT Oct. 18: City officials in New Orleans said the demolition of two damaged cranes at the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel has been delayed until Saturday. According to NOLA.com, demolition experts will use explosives to try to topple the cranes, but no earlier than noon.

    City officials said Friday the weather, particularly with the possible formation of Tropical Storm Nestor in the Gulf of Mexicoa, caused the delay, WSDU reported.

    Tropical storm warnings were issued Friday from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle, ABC News reported. 

    Update 5:05 a.m. EDT Oct. 18: Three victims presumed dead in the structure's Saturday collapse have been identified by Regional Mechanical Services LLC as Anthony Magrette, Quinnyon J. Wimberly and Jose Ponce Arreola, WDSU reported. The company also issued the following statement:

    "Quinnyon J. Wimberly was a valued member of our team and his loss will be felt in perpetuity. His passion, reliability, and energetic nature was known and enjoyed by everyone he met. Our hearts go out to his family as well as to the families of Jose Ponce Arreola and Anthony Magrette. Our focus at this point is to continue to support Quinnyon's family as well as our affected team members."

    City officials have stated one body is believed to be between the two cranes, and the other is believed to be in the back of the building on the Iberville Street side, WDSU reported.

    New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell told the TV station 112 people were working inside the 18-story structure when it began crumbling Saturday and 30 people were treated at an area hospital following the collapse. Only one person remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon, WDSU reported.

    Meanwhile, CNN reported the approach of a potential tropical storm is forcing the controlled demolition of the site's unsupported cranes on Friday.

    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told the network the main concern is elevated winds from the storm that formed Thursday morning in the Gulf of Mexico that could reach the area as early as Friday night.

    Update 7:59 a.m. EDT Oct. 17: New Orleans officials announced that a man missing after Saturday's collapse is likely dead, increasing the number killed from two to three.

    "We have moved from rescue to recovery mode," the city's emergency preparedness campaign tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "It is a difficult decision to make, but all evidence indicates that the missing individual did not survive the #HardRockCollapse," 

     

    According to NOLA.com, authorities believe two of the bodies remain in the collapsed hotel. 

    Update 11:55 a.m. EDT Oct. 15: Officials continued searching Tuesday for a worker missing after Saturday's Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans.

    Fire Chief Tim McConnell said authorities were using cameras and listening devices to help find the missing person, though he said the devices had yet to capture anything to pinpoint the person's location by Tuesday morning.

    "We believe we've got (the location) a little bit more pinpointed to a particular area that's collapsed," McConnell said. "Obviously we're hoping for the best but as this thing drags on the chances of that diminish."

    One body also remained trapped in the collapsed hotel Tuesday. Authorities previously recovered the body of another worker killed in the collapse, who was identified Monday by the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office as Anthony Floyd Magrette, 49, CNN reported.

    Officials expanded an evacuation zone around the building Monday after learning a crane at the construction site appeared to be at risk of collapsing. However, authorities said Tuesday that measurements showed no movement of the building or either of the two cranes that remained on-site.

    Update 11:10 a.m. EDT Oct. 15: New Orleans officials are holding a news conference Tuesday morning to update the public on search and rescue efforts after Saturday's deadly Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans.

    Update 10:50 a.m. EDT Oct. 15: Authorities in New Orleans are expected to hold a news conference Tuesday morning to update the public on search and rescue efforts as crews continue searching for one person missing in Saturday morning's building collapse.

    Update 10 p.m. EDT Oct. 14: The second of two cranes towering over the site where a New Orleans hotel construction project partially collapsed is now considered in danger of toppling.

    One of the cranes had been considered in danger of collapse, but New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell said Monday that inspections reveal the second crane is also unstable.

    The discovery led city officials to slightly expand an evacuation area around the building, which is also considered dangerously unstable. It complicates efforts by engineers to determine how to stabilize the cranes and the building.

    Rescue crews have been in the building throughout the day, hoping to find the lone missing worker alive. But, McConnell says, parts of the building remain inaccessible.

    Update 11:15 a.m. EDT Oct. 14: Family members have identified a man killed in the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans as Anthony Marette, 49, WDSU reported.

    Marette's wife, Nova Espinoza, told the WDSU that she dropped him off at the construction site early Saturday morning after he picked up a shift for some extra money. She said the father of four hadn't been originally scheduled to work that day.

    She told WDSU the coroner said Marette's body was found on the seventh floor of the building.

    Authorities held a news conference Monday morning to update the public on efforts to clear and investigate the collapse.

    Update 5:02 a.m. EDT Oct. 14: Crews have found and removed one of the victims killed in Saturday's hotel collapse, New Orleans officials said Sunday evening. A second body remains inside the structure, and one person is still missing, NOLA.com reported.

     

    Update 10:40 a.m. EDT Oct. 13: The search resumed Sunday morning for a missing person after a partial collapse of the under-construction Hard Rock Hotel, WSDU reported.

    Seventeen of the 18 people taken to New Orleans-area hospitals have been discharged, NOLA.com reported. One person was expected to undergo surgery, officials said.

    New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell told reporters there were 112 workers at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site when the collapse occurred. McConnell said many of those workers also were injured and showed up later in area hospitals to receive medical treatment, NOLA.com reported.

    Update 2:18 a.m. EDT Oct. 13: A second person was killed in the hotel collapse, New Orleans officials confirmed late Saturday.

    One person is still missing, authorities said.

    Earlier Saturday night, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement addressing the incident.

    "Today's collapse was a tragedy, and our hearts break for the loss of life. Our focus is on continuing to secure the site and to doing everything we can to support the families impacted as rescue efforts continue," the statement read.

    "All residents should continue to stay away from the area, and to heed the street closures and traffic warnings. We appreciate the public's response and support, and we are praying for the victims and their families."

     

    Update 5:40 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: Although three people were initially reported missing, one of those victims was at a hospital receiving treatment, officials said. 

    The two people still missing are believed to be in separate parts of the building, WWL-TV reported.

    Update 2:46 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: Jonathan Fourcade, of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, told NOLA.com that an urban search-and-rescue team will sweep the Hard Rock Hotel in an attempt to find three missing workers.

    Evacuations were ordered in buildings near the hotel, the website reported.

    The Hard Rock Hotel was planned as an 18-story building with 350 rooms, WWL-TV reported. It was scheduled to open next spring, the television station reported.

    Update 12:57 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said the upper six to eight floors of the structure collapsed, The Times-Picayune reported. He added the building remained "very unstable." Several buildings in the area have been evacuated, the newspaper reported.

    Update 12:02 p.m. EDT Oct. 12: It was not clear what caused the collapse, WWL-TV reported. The New Orleans Fire Department, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, and the New Orleans Police Department responded to the collapsed building, located at Canal and North Rampart streets, the television station reported.

    Around 9 a.m., upper floors of the building to fall on top of each other before he structure collapsed to the ground, WWL reported.

    "It sounded like a -- I don't know how to describe it -- like a building coming down," Matt Worges, who saw the collapse from the nearby Tidewater Building, told the Times-Picayune. "It was a deep, rumbling sound. Like an airplane maybe. It drew my head immediately."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


     

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