NEW ORLEANS, La. (FOX NEWS) – A Hard Rock Hotel and Casino building under construction in downtown New Orleans partially collapsed on Saturday, killing at least one person and injuring more than a dozen others.
Gov. John Bel Edwards confirmed the fatality to reporters near the scene. Three people were unaccounted for, officials said.
“This remains a very fluid and dangerous situation and every few minutes something is falling,” Edwards said, warning people to stay away from the area.
The New Orleans Fire Department Chief Tim McConnell said they received a call about the fallen building around 9:14 a.m. Saturday morning. He said the top six floors of the building collapsed and that the rest of the construction was “very unstable.”
He confirmed the death and that three people were missing. He reported 18 people were taken to the hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.
“It’s still a very dangerous situation,” he said. “The crane is still in place but it is unsupported and very dangerous. We are in the process of evacuating the buildings in the perimeter.”
The building collapse was caught in a dramatic video.
The cause of the collapse wasn’t immediately known.
“The frame of the building is considered stable but is unsupported, and therefore the situation is considered dangerous and residents are strongly encouraged to avoid the area until further notice,” LaTonya Norton, a spokeswoman for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. said Saturday afternoon.
The fire department ordered the evacuation of nearby buildings.
“It sounded like a — I don’t know how to describe it — like a building coming down,” said Matt Worges, according to Nola.com. He witnessed the collapse from a Tulane School of Public Health classroom in a nearby building.
“It looked like the concrete just slid from the top all the way down to the street,” Worges said. “The concrete just started to slide down the side.”
The development calls for 350 hotel rooms and condominiums. Plans were unveiled last year.