Victims remembered on two-year anniversary of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Tuesday marked two years to the day when one of the one of the worst calamities occurred in the history of New Orleans. On Oct. 12, 2019, alleged negligent construction caused the catastrophic collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel – killing three and injuring 18 more.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a dozen companies in connection with the disaster, which took nearly two years to demolish the partially collapsed 18-story structure that never reached completion.

After construction worker Anthony Magrette’s body was recovered a day after the tragedy, another 10 months would elapse before the other two victims, Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce Areola, were finally removed from the rubble.

On the two-year anniversary of the fatal collapse, the developers of the 1031 Canal project, the site of ill-fated hotel, issued an official statement remembering all the victims involved and their families.

Kailas Companies of Metairie, La., led by Mohan Kailas, provided the statement, which read:

Today, the owner of the 1031 Canal project joins many others in remembering those who were victims of the tragedy which occurred two years ago, as well as remaining mindful of their families. In the months ahead, ownership looks forward to the release of the remaining OSHA investigation results which may potentially bring some closure to all those affected by this incident.  

On this anniversary it should also be recalled that, after thorough investigative efforts, OSHA specifically did not implicate the owner in any way, but instead cited Heaslip Engineering and HUB Steel for multiple structural failures related to beams, columns and connections. These professionals were trusted by the owner to determine the means and methods to safely construct the building.

Kailas Companies

In August, the New Orleans Interim Inspector General Edward Michel furnished additional reports to New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams in an effort for criminal charges to be filed against those deemed responsible before any timeframe to do so expires.

As the statement from Kailas emphasized, there have been no criminal implications filed or responsibility levied against the owners of the site.

“OSHA specifically did not implicate the owner in any way,” the statement stressed.

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