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.
Here are the latest updates:
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.
Crane demolition at the #HardRockCollapse postponed to Sunday. There will be LARGER temporary evacuation & exclusion zones put in place. Those maps will be shared shortly. Get updates by text message: text HARDROCK to 888777.— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 19, 2019
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.
We are on track for a controlled demolition of two cranes at the #HardRockCollapse Saturday no earlier than noon. Tropical weather continues to track east of #NOLA, but we’re still monitoring winds at the level of the cranes.— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 18, 2019
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.
There will be an expanded temporary evacuation zone for operations at the #HardRockCollapse. Details will be provided when available. Text HARDROCK to 888777 for updates directly from the @CityOfNOLA or visit https://t.co/AyuRn37IF4.— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 17, 2019
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.
🌀 Here is the latest 7PM CDT update on Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen. Still expecting this system to gradually strengthen as it begins to accelerate to the NE. Impacts along the northern Gulf coast will begin as early as tonight, lasting through the weekend. #lawx #mswx pic.twitter.com/xJM3gWQzYi— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) October 18, 2019
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,"
We have moved from rescue to recovery mode. It is a difficult decision to make, but all evidence indicates that the missing individual did not survive the #HardRockCollapse.— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 16, 2019
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.
Happening Now: 10/15/19 Mayoral Briefing of #HardRockCollapse with all agencies at Real Time Crime Center. 10am press conference scheduled. Please continue to avoid area of #HardRockCollapse. @nolaready pic.twitter.com/SYaaq9qUi9— The City Of New Orleans (@CityOfNOLA) October 15, 2019
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.
The @NOLAFireDept has recovered one of the deceased individuals from the collapsed building. One person remains unaccounted for. Search & rescue continues to be our priority. #HardRockCollapse— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 13, 2019
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.
11pm #Update: an additional fatality has been confirmed, bringing the total to two dead in the #HardRockCollapse. One person remains unaccounted for. Search & rescue will continue in the morning.— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 13, 2019
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."
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. pic.twitter.com/0vHbQ5AvGK— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) October 13, 2019
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.
NEW: aerial picture of the collapse. My goodness. @wdsu (📸: Brandon Knox) #HardRockCollapse pic.twitter.com/UDqXJHJNkg— Christina Watkins (@CWatkinsWDSU) October 12, 2019
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.
The @NOLAFireDept is evacuating buildings in the red zone bounded by the Uptown side of Bienville, River side of Basin, Downtown Side of Canal and Lake side of Burgundy. If you are in this area, evacuate now and listen to public safety officials! Orange area closed to traffic. ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/kFEreeuGOv— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 12, 2019
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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