New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel in Danger of Further Collapse, as Tropical System Threatens Louisiana
Authorities in New Orleans are warning that the unstable Hard Rock Hotel could collapse even further in the coming days, especially if a tropical system now brewing off the coast of Mexico decides to take aim at Louisiana.
“There is absolutely a very good likelihood of further collapse of this building,” New Orleans Fire Department chief Tim McConnell told reporters during a Tuesday evening press conference. “Our prayer is that it doesn’t impact the cranes.”
New Orleans Hotel Collapse Tragically Killed 2 Construction Workers, 3rd Remains Missing
Engineers have been struggling to stabilize the Hard Rock Hotel, located at the corner of Rampart and Canal streets, ever since the still-under-construction building partially collapsed shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 12th.
More than 30 construction workers suffered injuries during the disaster, while at least two lost their lives.
So far, search crews have only been able to recover the remains of one deceased worker and have yet to locate a third listed as missing.
Cranes Threaten Saenger Theater, Other Historic Buildings
The Hard Rock Hotel collapse left two cranes hanging precariously from the building. According to NOLA.com, officials are particularly concerned about southerly winds, as equipment monitoring the cranes indicated the larger one had already moved an inch in barely a breeze.
On Tuesday night, McConnell warned that it would be impossible to protect the adjacent Saenger Theater and other historic buildings if either of the cranes were to fall.
New Orleans officials had hoped to use two other cranes to stabilize the stricken hotel, but engineers ultimately determined the plan was too risky. So far, they haven’t come up with an alternative.
Tropical System Could Bring 20-35 MPH Winds to New Orleans
Unfortunately, the danger will only increase if the tropical system off Mexico makes a turn for New Orleans.
“This could become a tropical depression, maybe a tropical storm,” New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold said during last evening’s news conference.
“With that you could expect south, southwest winds on this track, 20, 30, 35 miles an hour and the rain that would accompany that,” he continued.
OSHA Inspectors Will Investigate Hard Rock Hotel Collapse
In the meantime, there’s still no word on what may have caused the top six floors of the Hard Rock Hotel to collapse on Saturday morning.
While inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived in New Orleans on Saturday, efforts remain focused on search and recovery.
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