New York Daily News
One person was killed, more than 20 were injured and two are still unaccounted for, after part of a Hard Rock hotel under construction collapsed in downtown New Orleans Saturday morning.
New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said that six to eight floors of the building, which had been under construction for several months, came crashing down onto the ground, on the corner of Canal and North Rampart streets.
Witnesses describe seeing a giant cloud of dust and a hearing a “deep, rumbling sound” when debris fell onto the streets around 9:30 a.m.
“It looked like the concrete just slid from the top all the way down to the street,” Matt Worges, who saw the collapse from the nearby Tidewater Building, told Nola.com. “The concrete just started to slide down the side.”
A worker who was on the 18th floor when it happened said that about 45 people were working inside the building. “We ran to the center of the building to escape,” he said.
Authorities said that 18 people were taken to area hospitals. They are all in stable condition.
Several buildings in the area have been evacuated, and a large portion of the streets in downtown New Orleans have been closed.
Following the incident, Hard Rock International released a statement claiming it wasn’t involved in the building’s construction.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
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