US: 2 Dead, 20 Injured As Under-Construction Hotel Collapses :- A large section of a Hard Rock Hotel under construction beside New Orleans’ historic French Quarter collapsed on Saturday amid blinding dust and flying debris. The collapse killed two people and injured more than 20. Rescue workers are still searching the largely unstable building for one person still unaccounted for.
US: 2 Dead Hotel Collapses
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said, “We can confirm we have lost two people, a third has not been found just yet so we don’t know. We have not been able to identify the three individuals.”
He further added that the firefighters evacuated construction workers inside the hotel after the “upper six to eight” floors collapsed.
Emergency medical services director Emily Nichols said that first responders evaluated 19 people at the scene, 18 of whom were transported to hospitals and are in stable condition.
Three people are still missing, and there are no reports of injury to passers-by.
He said, “It’s still a very dangerous situation. The crane is still in place but it is unsupported and very dangerous. We are in the process of evacuating the buildings in the perimeter.”
According to local Homeland Security office director Collin Arnold, due to the hotel’s unstable structure, the operation to clear the area is ongoing. He asked the people to stay away from the area and refrain from using drones for either personal or media purposes to view the damage. Edwards said, “This remains a very fluid and dangerous situation and every few minutes something is falling.”
The fire department is working to evacuate nearby buildings, particularly apartment complexes. New Orleans Fire Department Chief Timothy McConnell confirmed earlier that an urban search-and-rescue team was preparing to sweep the building for any possible bodies or trapped survivors.
McConnell also said the department received a call about the fallen building around 9:14 a.m. Saturday. He said the top six floors of the building collapsed and that the rest of the construction was “very unstable.”
The cause of the collapse wasn’t known so far.
The building was under construction at the corner of Rampart Street and Canal Street, a broad boulevard just outside the city’s famous French Quarter, lined with restaurants, hotels, and retailers. Canal, which carries six lanes of traffic divided by a wide median where streetcars roll, separates the Quarter from the city’s main business district.
The development calls for 350 hotel rooms and condominiums. Plans were unveiled last year. The hotel was scheduled to open in the spring.