At Least One Dead After Hotel Partially Collapses in New Orleans

By Alyse Stanley on at

Portions of an under-construction Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans collapsed Saturday, killing at least one person and trapping several contractors inside according to local reports.

In footage of the collapse shared on Twitter, you can see vehicles swerving and people fleeing from falling debris as it rains down one of the city’s main thoroughfare, Canal Street. One video taken from inside a streetcar nearly directly beneath the hotel shows how quickly dust and detritus blanketed the area like a thick fog. The scene looks like something straight out of a disaster movie.

The city’s local CBS affiliate, WWL-TV, also captured drone video of the aftermath, and the hotel practically looks deflated save for a single crane that remains standing among the rubble.

It’s still unclear what caused the building’s upper floors to collapse, but authorities say the site remains so unstable there is a “very strong possibility of further collapse,” New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell told reporters per CNN. “Our biggest fear right now is the crane. It weighs several tons.”

Rescue crews are currently searching for two missing contractors believed to be inside. “We assume they are alive,” McConnell said.

At least 18 people were injured in the incident and taken to nearby hospitals, though additional reports are still coming in, CNN reported. A third contractor originally believed to be missing has since been located among the injured. So far, no pedestrians or motorists passing by the hotel when it partially collapsed have reported injuries, McConnell said.

Featured image:  Matt Jones (Twitter)