Video of Sagging Concrete Recorded Just Days Before New Orleans Hotel Collapse
A construction worker on the Hard Rock Hotel project in New Orleans captured video of what appears to be sagging concrete just days before the building partially collapsed on Saturday, tragically killing three people.
Concrete Sagged Enough to Bend Shoring Jacks
The video was posted to Facebook by Randy Gaspard, a local concrete contractor, and shot last Thursday – two days before the disaster – by an unidentified worker. The recording shows a concrete slab, purportedly at the Hard Rock Hotel, sagging to the point of bending the shoring jacks supporting it.
“Look, Papo, ‘the best engineering!’ Look at these large stretches (between supports) and s–t beams! (unintelligible) They’re already to the point of breaking,” said the Spanish-speaking worker, according to a translation provided by WWL-CBS.
“Look at how it’s bent already! They couldn’t remove it because it’s too bent and it has too much pressure. The huge spaces without beams – look! What a very s–t structure these architects and engineers are building! … This is seriously bad, Papa!”
Was New Orleans Hotel Contractor Taking Shortcuts Before Collapse?
Gaspard told WWL-CBS that the workers were removing the shoring jacks the day the video was shot. They urged the contractor to stop, but were told to continue taking the posts down.
“What it shows is that the concrete deck has so much deflection that they can’t remove the shore posts,” Gaspard said. “They have so much load on them, it’s bending them.”
The video has led some to speculate that the project’s contractor was taking shortcuts.
On Wednesday, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell confirmed that the recording has become evidence in the collapse investigation.
A spokesman for Citadel Builders, the Metairie-based company serving as general contractor on the Hard Rock Hotel construction, downplayed the importance of the video.
“I think there’s a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking going on, a lot of people trying to flex their engineering muscles because this happened,” he told NOLA.com.
New Orleans Officials End Search for Hotel Collapse Survivor
The Hard Rock Hotel was under construction at the corner of North Rampart and Canal when the top six floors pancaked without warning shortly after 9:00 a.m. on October 12, 2019.
The collapse sent 30 construction workers to area hospitals, killed two men, and left one missing.
Search crews removed the body of one of the dead on Monday. While they know the location of a second deceased worker, they have so far been unable to reach his remains.
Yesterday, officials in New Orleans abandoned any hope that the missing worker had survived the Hard Rock Hotel collapse and raised the official death toll to three.
Tropical Storm Nestor Expected Off Louisiana Coast
Meanwhile, engineers are racing to find a way to stabilize the stricken building ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Nestor off the Louisiana coast as early as tomorrow. The storm could bring high winds and rain to New Orleans, possibly causing further collapse and threatening two damaged cranes perched precariously atop the hotel.
Engineers were planning to get a closer look at the cranes on Wednesday. They hoped to use two other cranes to remove the equipment, but ultimately decided the plan was too dangerous.
Wednesday also marked the first time that inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration were able to enter the Hard Rock Hotel since their arrival in New Orleans on Saturday. They apparently used police body cameras to document the damage, and will be working to determine if any safety violations contributed to the deadly collapse.
Billions Won for Workers and Families: Call 1-888-603-3636 or by Click Here for a Free Consult with Our Undefeated Louisiana Construction Accident Lawyers
Our Undefeated Louisiana Construction Accident Lawyers continue to investigate the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans and will post additional updates as new information becomes available.
In addition to being undefeated, we’ve won billions, including Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements, for thousands of workers and families across Louisiana, Texas, and throughout the United States following construction site accidents and other workplace disasters.
Please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.
Consultations are always free, and because we exclusively represent clients for a contingency fee, you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.