Officials update Hard Rock collapse; still in rescue mode with full investigation to come
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Mayor Cantrell along with city leaders Sunday said emergency crews are still in full rescue mode as one worker remains unaccounted for after Saturday’s collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel.
At a news conference Sunday morning, Mayor Cantrell and NOFD Chief Tim McConnell said safety and rescue remains the top priority.
Once rescues are complete, the mayor says a full investigation will begin.
Officials continue to stress that the building and crane remain extremely unstable and further collapse is possible.
It is still not clear what caused the hotel to crumble. Citadel Builders has representatives on site and promise a thorough investigation, according to the mayor.
NOFD Chief Tim McConnell said that two additional cranes were brought on site in less than 24 hours to assist with stabilizing the crane atop the building.
McConnell says the city and state worked together to expedite getting the equipment to New Orleans.
Engineering experts are headed to New Orleans including an expert from Germany. They are expected to arrive sometime Sunday.
30 people were injured in the collapse. EMS Director Dr. Emily Nichols said all but one were released from area hospitals.
That remaining person, who was working on the 8th floor at the time of the collapse, underwent surgery Saturday to repair injuries to his femur and is in stable condition.
Mayor Cantrell said she visited the man in the hospital and says he is in good spirits and that his family is on the way to New Orleans.
In an afternoon press conference, Cantrell announced that the body of one of the deceased victims was removed from the rubble Sunday. The body was then transferred to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office who will work to identify the worker.
Crews are continuing to recover the body of the the second deceased victim and also remain hopeful that the third missing victim will be located alive.
Homeland Security Director Colin Arnold said the city identified about 100 people that were affected and live in the immediate area. 30 of those people were put up in hotel rooms Saturday night.
Electricity has been cut off to at least 10 other properties near the scene.
The city is asking anyone who may work in the area of the construction site to please make a plan as to how you will get around road closures.
They are also asking employers to be understanding that some workers could be delayed or may not be able to get to work at all.
No-entry and evacuation areas remain in place. The no-entry zone is bounded by Conti Street to Common Street and Basin Street to Dauphine Street. The evacuation zone is bounded by Bienville to Canal and Basin to Burgundy
The Saenger Theatre did sustain damage to its roof. All remaining performances of Wicked have been cancelled through Oct. 20.
The New Orleans Athletic Club also sustained roof damage.
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