The Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans has collapsed — here's what we know
We're seeing some pretty disturbing scenes emerging out of New Orleans today. NOLA.com reports that the Hard Rock Hotel, which is under construction, has partially collapsed; one person is dead, three are missing and 18 are injured.
In a news conference Saturday morning, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said the upper six to eight floors of the structure collapsed around 9:12 a.m. local time, as per The New York Times. About 45 people were working inside of the structure. The building remains very unstable, and efforts are underway to rescue and evacuate the three missing persons — despite fear of an additional crane collapse. Teams are using dogs and drones to help.
Photos and videos have begun to emerge on social media, including this one that shows the moment the structure collapsed.
As of 1 p.m. CST, the NOFD has begun to evacuate the surrounding buildings.
Renovation plans for the hotel were announced in February 2018. As per Hard Rock's website, the hotel is slated to reopen with 350 rooms, a health and wellness center, a pool and rooftop, spa and more. The site is located in the French Quarter on the corner of Rampart and Canal Streets. The new Hard Rock was originally slated to open in the Spring of 2019, later pushing back the date to Summer 2020. It's unclear if — or when — the hotel will open now, as well as what caused the collapse in the first place.
TPG reached out to Hard Rock Hotels, but did not receive a response by the time of publication. As per CNN, Royce Duplessis, a Louisiana state representative, stated, "Structural engineers are currently assessing what led to the cause of the collapse."
This isn't the only Hard Rock hotel that's made headlines this year. The company announced in August that it would close its Las Vegas property and reopen it under Virgin Hotels.