A rescue mission is underway at the scene of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans Hotel, and officials are evacuating buildings in the area.
According to Jonathan Fourcade of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, an urban search-and-rescue team is preparing to sweep the building for three missing workers despite fear of an additional crane collapse.
This team is comprised of NOEMS paramedics, firefighters and other regional first responders trained to find people trapped in rubble.
Multiple people were reportedly injured Saturday morning when part of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans collapsed.
The building sweep has three steps, officials said:
- Launch a drone to check stability of building
- Deploy search dogs to look for people trapped in the rubble
- Enter with first responders
As of 12:30 p.m., Fourcade said officials were in the first step of the process.
City officials released a map showing the area in which surrounding buildings are being evacuated. The evacuation area is bounded by the Uptown side of Bienville Street, the river side of Basin street, the downtown side of Canal Street and the lake side of Burgundy Street.
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
New Orleans officials said earlier Saturday that three workers were still unaccounted for following the collapse of the top portion of the building.
With tears in her eyes, Nova Espinoza stood behind yellow tape on Elk Place and Canal Street and looked at the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel construction site.
“I don’t know where my husband is,” she said.
Anthony Magrette of King Company was on the site during the collapse. He has not been accounted for, Espinoza said.
“Nobody from his company has seen him,” Espinoza said. “They can’t find where he is.”
Betty Kellar also waited along Canal and Elk to get updates on her cousin, Quania Wimberly, who was unaccounted for after the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site.
“We’re still waiting, but we still have hope,” she said.
Wimberly was a construction worker on the site, but Kellar could not confirm what company for which Wimberly worked.
One person has been confirmed killed after a large portion of the hotel under construction suddenly collapsed.
Can’t see video below? Click here. Video via @BrienFallon on Twitter.
Construction workers ran to safety as the building came crashing down. Upper floors began to fall on top of each other before one side of the building fell to the ground below.
Staff writers Ramon Antonio Vargas and Katelyn Umholtz contributed to this report.