One dead and three missing after New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel collapses
A person has died and three people are missing after a Hard Rock Hotel collapsed in New Orleans, with its top floors plunging to the street below.
Dramatic footage shows the moment the top of the 18-storey building, which has been under construction for months, suddenly gives way and crashes down at around 9am in the city’s historic French Quarter.
Crains, scaffolding, top floors and most of the front half of the hotel tumble down as construction workers, dressed in orange, are seen sprinting out of the bottom of the building and into the road.
One person has been confirmed dead by city officials and Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards.
A total of 18 people have been injured and rushed to hospital where they are in a stable condition.
Reportedly another three people have still not been found in the building’s wreckage, which was still considered unstable with a 270-foot crain looming above.
Another video on social media was taken by someone aboard one of the city’s famous streetcars as it approached the site while the building was collapsing.
It showed what looked like a metal structure – part of the building or a piece of construction equipment – tumbling to the ground and people running from the scene as clouds of dust billowed up and around the streetcar, obscuring the view like a thick fog.
Many in surrounding hotels were evacuated, including a hostel across the street where guest Sue Hurley, 68, was staying.
She said: ‘I heard a huge noise and thought it was a plane crashing. Then, the hostel shook’.
A terrified Sue said the scene reminded her of the September 11 terrorist attacks, adding: ‘The noise was as strong as the 9/11 crash. The dust was as thick.’
Another hostel guest, Michael Arbeiter, 30, from Germany, said he was just getting out of the shower when the room shook.
‘I’m not sure what happened but they told us to get out of here,’ he said. ‘I’m supposed to stay until Monday. Thank God it was not another 9/11.’
Louisiana’s governor urged people to stay away from the area, which was still considered unstable.
Matt Worges who saw the collapse from a nearby building old The Times-Picayune he heard a ‘deep rumbling sound – like an airplane maybe’.
The building was under construction at the corner of Rampart Street and Canal Street, a broad boulevard just outside the Quarter, lined with restaurants hotels and retailers.
Canal Street, which carries six lanes of traffic, separates the Quarter from the city’s main business district.
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