Hard Rock Hotel under construction collapses in downtown New Orleans

The Hard Rock Hotel collapsed Saturday (Oct. 12) on to Canal Street. The hotel was under construction (Source: Kevin Pedeaux)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed Saturday morning (Oct. 12) onto Canal St. in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department are on scene.

NOFD Chief Tim McConnell confirmed one person was killed on scene and two others are unaccounted for. They are all contractors. Authorities originally believed three people were missing, but one turned up at the hospital.

At least 18 additional people needed medical attention. McConnell said they are all in stable condition. Some of the people have been released from the hospital.

McConnell said urban search and rescue teams are on scene and nearby buildings are being evacuated. He says a large crane is unstable and further collapse is possible.

Search and Rescue teams are attempting to reach areas where they believe people may be in the building. The city is meeting with crane owner and other agencies to see how to possibly reach those who might be trapped.

“This is not a short term event, this is a marathon,” McConnell said.

The hotel was slated to open in the Spring of 2020.

The 350 rooms for hotel guests, in addition to 62 one and two-bedroom units available for purchase.

Witnesses said they could feel the building shake as the crane came down. The historic Saenger Theater was also damaged. City officials said the building has a hole in the roof.

“This will be a traffic issue for sure on Monday,” Colin Arnold of Homeland Security for the City of New Orleans said.

Hard Rock International released a statement saying, “Citadel Builders LLC was contracted by Kailas Companies, owner of the project, to build the Hard Rock Hotel based on a brand licensing agreement with Hard Rock International, the future manager of the hotel. Hard Rock has had no involvement in the construction of the project. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to victims of this tragic accident and to their loved ones and friends.”

N. Rampart Street is closed to vehicles from St. Louis to Canal.

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