Search suspended for people believed to be trapped in collapsed Hard Rock Hotel


NEW ORLEANS — As of 7:30 P.M., rescue operations for the two people trapped in the building have been suspended.

Crews were trying for hours to rescue two workers trapped in the wreckage.

“We believe we know where they are but we have no visibility,” Tim McConnell, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent, told reporters. “We assume they are alive.”

Search and rescue teams were using dogs and drones to make contact with the workers but one crane needs to be secured before the teams can enter the building, a statement from Citadel Builders, the general contractor over the project, said.

There is no word if the search will continue in the morning.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell released the following statement regarding the building collapse on a construction site downtown:

“Today’s collapse was a tragedy, and our hearts break for the loss of life,” said Mayor Cantrell. “Our focus is on continuing to secure the site and to doing everything we can to support the families impacted as rescue efforts continue. All residents should continue to stay away from the area, and to heed the street closures and traffic warnings. We appreciate the public’s response and support, and we are praying for the victims and their families.”

Statement from 1031 Canal Street regarding the incident that occurred at the Hard Rock Hotel:

“Our highest priority is the care and concern for the families involved. While there are many questions that are unanswerable at this juncture, our prayers and sympathies are with the good men and women who have been affected. We are hopeful that the thoughts and prayers throughout the community will help us through these initial days as we begin to work with local authorities and the General Contractor to identify the causes of the incident.  We thank the first responders for their quick actions to assist those in need.”

Statement from Hard Rock International

“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.”

Statement provided by Orleans Parish Communication District Executive Director Tyrell Morris:

“Our hearts go out to the people affected by the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel building,” said OPCD Executive Director Morris. “This is the type of event we hope never occurs, especially in your own city. But I can’t express how proud I am of how prepared the Emergency Communications Specialists were to jump into action when the need arose. The efficiency and bravery of all Orleans Parish public safety agencies were on display today, and we honestly can’t say enough to praise the work done by the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Fire Department, New Orleans EMS, and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. We would also like to say thank you to the many emergency communication centers across the nation have reached out to us today. OPCD stands committed to supporting our public safety partners and the City of New Orleans, no matter how difficult the task or shocking the event,” continued Morris. “As always, we are here and ready to act for the residents and visitors of New Orleans when you need us.”


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