Around 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning, the top floors of the unfinished Hard Rock hotel collapsed while construction workers were both inside the building and outside on Canal Street, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Two people were confirmed dead and another 30 were hospitalized.

Rescue operations were suspended Saturday night but continued Sunday to find the remaining victim trapped inside the building. Emergency crews made entry into the building, officials said Sunday morning, and a 110-ton crane transported from Baton Rouge was used to stabilize another large crane that remained unsupported on the hotel.

“It is still very unstable,” New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said of the building. “This will be a marathon.”


Gov. John Bel Edwards was at the site and said the 270-crane also worried him. “When you see the crane listing away from the building … this is very serious,” he said.

The cause of the collapse was not immediately known, but on Sunday morning Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the rescue mission would shift into an investigation that would “be relentless” into what happened.

The Hard Rock Hotel was planned as an 18-story building with 350 rooms that would’ve also had 62 condominiums. It was initially set to open this spring. Hard Rock International released a statement following the incident, extending sympathies to the victims and saying they had no involvement with construction of the building.

“Citadel Builders LLC was contracted by Kailas Companies, owner of the project, to build the HardRock Hotel based on a brand licensing agreement with HardRock International, the future manager of the hotel. HardRock 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,” the statement read.

Tuesday workers continue to search void by void on the top floors of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel. They continue to look for a missing worker and a way to get to another worker’s body, as New Orleans officials and engineers continued to hash out a plan to secure the building and its cranes.

Sophisticated listening equipment at the site has not detected any signs to help searchers pinpoint where the missing worker might be located. Authorities continue to hold out hope the worker is alive even as it becomes less likely as the hours pass.

Read more about: