NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The mayor of New Orleans says she and other city officials will be thoroughly reviewing the background of a demolition company hired to tear down the partially collapsed Hard Rock hotel. That after learning of a fine received by the demolition company after an implosion that went wrong in California six years ago.
Mayor Cantrell wants to see the Hard Rock hotel imploded shortly after the first of the year and she promises to thoroughly examine the track record of the company hired to do the job.
"At the end of the day it's about making sure the company is skilled at the job they've been hired to do by the property owners," said Cantrell.
The company, Dem-Tech, was one of two companies fined in California after the implosion of an old power plant in Bakersfield, that went wrong. Five spectators were struck by flying debris, one man, had his leg severed.
Dem-Tech and a company name Alpha Explosives were both fined $14,000 for their role in the 2013 Bakersfield implosion. The injuries occurred as several thousand people gathered outside a 1000 foot safety perimeter to watch , as the debris flew beyond the safety zone. The mayor says she and others, will fully vet Dem-Tech, which was hired by the Hard Rock owners, before the implosion is allowed to move forward.
“As it relates to the guardrails in place, you have the permitting process, that has to happen, just like any other project in the city of New Orleans what we’ve been through with this project, we’re not going to leave any stone un-turned,” said Cantrell.
At this point, the property owners have agreed to pay for the implosion, but the mayor says they are still on the hook for millions in costs, incurred by the city, since the October 10 partial collapse, which killed three workers.
“I am happy that the bear is out of our pocket, but we will be going after the money spent by the city, that’s $6 million,” said the mayor.
As for problems with Dem-Tech, the mayor says her office, the fire chief, and the city permits department will review it’s track record to make sure it’s qualified to do the Hard Rock implosion. We reached out to Dem Tech for comment, but have not heard back.