Hard Rock Hotel Collapse: Rescuers Still Searching for Missing Construction Worker; 2 Confirmed Dead

Stacey Leasca

Workers scrambled this weekend to rescue members of a construction crew buried under the rubble of a partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans. Part of the hotel toppled as more than 100 construction workers were on site. Two men are confirmed dead, dozens more were injured, and one more crew member remains missing.

According to USA Today, the local fire department is still treating it as a rescue mission.

Emergency officials are on the scene of a partial building collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site downtown New Orleans, Louisiana on October 12, 2019. | EMILY KASK/Getty Images

"We believe we know where they are but we have no visibility," Tim McConnell, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent, said in a news conference. "We assume they are alive."

He added, “Safety is the number one thing. The last thing you want to do when you are trying to rescue somebody is to lose someone else.”

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell also shared with the media that one body had already been recovered, however, the coroner’s office is still working to identify the victim.

"Today's collapse was a tragedy, and our hearts break for the loss of life," Cantrell added. "Our focus is on continuing to secure the site and...doing everything we can to support the families impacted as rescue efforts continue."

The construction zone remains very dangerous, with Cantrell noting there is still a "very strong possibility of further collapse.”

CNN reported that several city blocks surrounding the area remain closed due to a crane hanging perilously off the construction zone.

"Our biggest fear right now is the crane," McConnell said. "It weighs several tons.” The accident remains under investigation.

For its part, Citidal Builders, the company behind the construction, said in a statement, "Citadel representatives remain engaged and will be working with the City and engineering experts throughout the night and until a solution can be implemented.”