Part of the Hard Rock Hotel
Part of New York's Hard Rock Hotel under construction collapsed on Saturday, October 12. Image Credit: Twitter

New York, At least one person is dead and 18 others injured after parts of a Hard Rock Hotel under construction in New Orleans collapsed Saturday morning.

Three people remain unaccounted for, the New York Times reported.

After the collapse of parts of the building, three people from the construction site remained unaccounted for, the New Orleans fire chief said on Saturday.

Parts of the Hard Rock Hotel new york 01121
Parts of the Hard Rock Hotel under construction collapsed on Saturday. The wreckage led to one death and at least 18 injuries. Image Credit: Annie Flanagan for The New York Times

New York: Parts of a Hard Rock Hotel under construction in New Orleans collapsed Saturday morning, killing one and injuring at least 18 others, a city official said.

There are three people who remain unaccounted for.

The New Orleans Fire Department received reports of a collapsed building around 9:12 am (5.12pm UAE), Chief Timothy McConnell said in a news conference on Saturday.

The top six to eight floors of the building were affected, he said.

Chief McConnell and other officials repeatedly warned people to stay away from the area, noting that the structure and that a 270-foot crane remained unstable and still might collapse.

Nineteen people were assessed for injuries at the scene, 18 of whom were transported to area hospitals, he said.

All were are in stable condition.

The building was under construction at the corner of Rampart Street and Canal Street, a broad boulevard just outside the French Quarter, lined with restaurants hotels and retailers.

Canal, which carries six lanes of traffic divided by a wide median where streetcars roll, separates the Quarter from the city's main business district.

Gov. John Bel Edwards visited the scene and urged people to stay away from the area, which was still considered unstable. As dust settled following the morning collapse, twisted metal, concrete pilings and other wreckage covered part of Rampart Street.
"It was a deep rumbling sound," Matt Worges, who saw the collapse from a nearby building, told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. "Like an airplane maybe. It drew my head immediately."

There were no reports of any injuries of people on the ground around the construction site.

Additional information on the person who was killed was not immediately available.

“Obviously, it’s a very serious situation here on Canal Street,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said at the news conference. “I’m just asking for everybody to lift up in prayer those who are at the hospital” and people who were “unaccounted for.”

“This is an active scene,” NOLA Ready, New Orleans’s emergency preparedness campaign, said on Twitter. “Please avoid the area & listen to public safety officials.”

Sarah Fischer, an employee at Fischer’s Jewelry on Canal Street who saw the collapse, said that the area was completely blocked off, and that Fischer’s Jewelry employees were being forced to evacuate because of a crane that might fall.

“We saw, all of a sudden, just this thick cloud of white smoke and metal falling,” she said. “You couldn’t see in front of you and it lasted 30 seconds, maybe a minute.”

Ms. Fischer said there was metal all over the street. “You can see people stuck up there,” she said of the building, adding that firefighters were trying to rescue people.

It was not immediately clear how many people were in the structure at the time it collapsed or after it began to fall apart.

Ms. Fischer said the hotel had been under construction for at least a year. “They were closer to finishing it up.”

A news release announcing Hard Rock’s coming New Orleans location, near the city’s historic French Quarter, said the hotel would have 350 rooms, residential spaces, two ballrooms and 12,000 square feet of event space.

The Hard Rock Hotel did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.