The Philippine Star

Ho­tel col­lapse in new Or­leans leaves 2 dead

- Disasters · Incidents · Hard Rock International · New Orleans · Munich · Germany

NEW OR­LEANS (AP) — A large sec­tion of a Hard Rock Ho­tel un­der con­struc­tion be­side New Or­leans’ his­toric French Quar­ter col­lapsed Sat­ur­day amid blind­ing dust and fly­ing de­bris, killing two peo­ple and in­jur­ing more than 20.

Res­cue work­ers searched the largely un­sta­ble build­ing for one per­son still un­ac­counted for. Nearby build­ings were evac­u­ated.

A 270-foot con­struc­tion crane — one of two still loom­ing over the mul­ti­story build­ing — also was dan­ger­ously un­sta­ble, fire of­fi­cials said.

The hunt for the miss­ing was sus­pended at night­fall over safety con­cerns. A state­ment from the pro­ject con­trac­tor said its rep­re­sen­ta­tives would work “through­out the night” with emer­gency of­fi­cials on a plan to sta­bi­lize the build­ing.

“I heard a huge noise and thought it was a plane crash­ing,” said Sue Hur­ley, a 68-year-old guest at a hos­tel across the street that shud­dered with the force of the col­lapse. Hur­ley said she was re­minded of news ac­counts of the 9/11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

WWL-TV aired and tweeted a viewer’s dra­matic video of up­per floors fall­ing on top of each other be­fore one side of the build­ing crashed to the street.

An­other video on so­cial me­dia showed what looked like a me­tal struc­ture — part of the build­ing or a piece of con­struc­tion equip­ment — tum­bling to the ground and peo­ple run­ning from the scene as clouds of dust bil­lowed up, ob­scur­ing the view like a thick fog.

“I’m not sure what hap­pened, but they told us to get out of here,” said Michael Ar­beiter, 30, from Mu­nich, Ger­many, a hos­tel guest who said he was just get­ting out of the shower when his room shook. “Thank God it was not an­other 9/11.”

Of­fi­cials said 18 peo­ple were taken to the hos­pi­tal and sev­eral oth­ers went to the hos­pi­tal on their own. They said none of their in­juries was be­lieved to be life threat­en­ing.

 ?? AP ?? Photo shows the Hard Rock Ho­tel, which was un­der con­struc­tion, af­ter a fa­tal par­tial col­lapse in New Or­leans on Sat­ur­day.
AP Photo shows the Hard Rock Ho­tel, which was un­der con­struc­tion, af­ter a fa­tal par­tial col­lapse in New Or­leans on Sat­ur­day.

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