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Hard Rock victims and their families react to City Hall investigation over inspections

Updated: Feb. 18, 2020 at 6:36 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “He was my twin brother. He was my everything,” Angela Magrette, whose twin died in the collapse, said.

Magrette says the loss of her twin brother, Anthony, inside the Hard Rock Hotel construction site was the hardest thing she’s ever had to endure.

“He was a very special person. He wasn’t just a brother or an uncle, he was special and they stole him from us,” Magrette said.

She says finding out there’s an investigation into whether city inspectors signed off on work without ever visiting the site makes her angry.

“The first thing I felt was like, Oh my goodness, how could she not go inspect that building all those times. If she would have, my brother could still be alive,” Magrette said.

First responders recovered Magrette’s body from the building, but the bodies of two other workers remain in the rubble.

“I truly believe nobody went there. They just didn’t care,” Magrette said.

“It seemed like everything that shouldn’t have happened, happened on this site, so this didn’t surprise me,” attorney Mike Brandner said.

Brandner filed one of the first civil lawsuits in the wake of the collapse against the project’s developer, builders, engineers and architects.

“There’s so many different things that could have happened to prevent this, and it seemed like nothing happened. It was like a perfect storm,” Brandner said.

Brandner says right now, he has more than 50 clients who suffered mental and physical injuries from what happened. Trey Fourmier, a steel worker, is one of them.

“What if this was to happen again? We may not make it out this time, and I’m scared every day,” Fourmier said.

Brandner says GPS data that seems to suggest the inspector approved work without visiting the site is just another layer of failure.

“It’s another piece of the puzzle that shows this could have been fixed, or it shouldn’t have happened,” Brandner said.

“I’m sick to my stomach to the fact that these people did what they did. I feel like this was just another person to them. He wasn’t important, but he had a life. He had a family,” Margette said.

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