Search continues for missing worker in Hard Rock Hotel collapse


Courtesy of CBS

New Orleans (CBS) — The search continued Monday for a construction worker buried in the rubble of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans after it partially collapsed on Saturday, sending debris into the street. The collapse was captured on video, as the top of the construction plummeted to the ground.

“We thought it was gunfire but it wasn’t gunfire, it was a building collapsing,” one witness said.

Falling debris and equipment sent workers and bystanders running for safety. Three people died in the collapse, including the missing worker. It’s been an agonizing wait for the family of that last remaining victim, who is engaged to a local police officer.

“Unfortunately, we have not had any success as of this time, locating the person who is still missing,” said Fire Chief Tim McConnell.

On Monday, the scene was still volatile. Officials discovered both yellow cranes are compromised and could collapse, so the evacuation perimeter has been extended.

“I think the videos are really going to play a major part in trying to determine that first failure,” said structural engineer Norma Jean Mattei.

After camping out near the site for more than two days, the family of 49-year-old Anthony Marquette received word that his body had been recovered.

The mayor told CBS News the building was last inspected 20 days ago. There was nothing that would have stopped construction. But there is concern now about securing the building with rain and high winds predicted to hit over the next few days.

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