Lousiana’s Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans crumbled on Saturday morning while under construction, killing at least one person and injuring numerous others. Several people are still unaccounted for.
Nola.com reports that New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said during a Saturday morning news conference that 18 people were taken to the hospital, but all appear to be in stable condition. Others, such as Nova Espinoza’s husband, are missing.
“I don’t know where my husband is,” she told the outlet with tears in her eyes. “Nobody from his company has seen him. They can’t find where he is.”
According to CBS 4, the building is located in the historic French Quarter area of downtown New Orleans, at North Rampart and Bienville. Officials are asking the public to stay away from the area.
#Alert the @NOLAFireDept, @NewOrleansEMS & @NOPDNews are responding to a partial structure collapse at Canal & N. Rampart. This is an active scene. Please avoid the area & listen to public safety officials. ⚠️
— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) October 12, 2019
The collapse happened without warning; numerous construction workers were seen fleeing the area in a video caught by a bystander.
Officials said that six to eight floor’s in the hotel’s upper area collapsed, although it’s still unclear why. There were no guests in the hotel, but at least 45 people were working inside when the hotel started to crumble.
“It sounded like a — I don’t know how to describe it — like a building coming down,” Matt Worges, who studying nearby at Tulane University, told Nola.com “It was a deep, rumbling sound. Like an airplane maybe. It drew my head immediately.”
The building remains unstable. Several other buildings in the area have been evacuated and more evacuations are underway.
The story is developing. Check back for further updates.
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[Feature Photo: WWL-TV via AP]