Catastrophic Building Disaster Revisits Tragedy in the Iconic French Quarter
Without warning, an 18-story building under construction on Canal Street at the edge of the New Orleans French Quarter began to collapse just after 9:00 on Saturday morning. The building was to be a New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel when completed. More than 100 workers were in the structure at the time of the deadly calamity. By mid-afternoon, emergency personnel reported that at least one person was killed, three individuals were missing, and about 20 were injured and transported to area hospitals.
The three individuals reported as missing evidently were confirmed to be in the structure at the time of the collapse. Search and rescue continues apace with hopes that they will be found somewhere at the site alive.
At this time, the cause of the collapse does not appear to be known. Indeed, investigation into the reason for the disaster really has yet to commence. Those emergency and other personnel at the scene are involved in search and rescue at this time as well as stabilizing what remains of the towering structure.
The failure of the structure began when the top floor collapsed suddenly onto the level beneath it. The force from the collapse of the top floor immediately started a chain reaction. One floor after another collapsed on the one below it until a wall on one side of the building completely gave way.
Although a portion of the building remained standing after the catastrophic collapse, the whole structure is highly unstable. Officials are concerned that more of the structure could plummet to the ground at any time.
Rising above what remains of the hotel itself are two cranes that had been used in the construction projects. One of the cranes appears to have been largely unscathed by the building collapse. The second crane, however, is listing seriously sideways, causing the Governor of Louisiana to remark that the situation is very serious and a major threat to nearby buildings.
In the direct aftermath of the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel collapse, buildings in a large swath surrounding the structure were evacuated until further notice. This included structures on the Canal Street side of the French Quarter. The evacuation was ordered because of the lack of stability of what remains of the Hard Rock and the construction crane swaying dangerously out of alignment.
The New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel would have had 350 guest rooms together with 62 condominiums completion. The building was slated to open in the spring of 2020. At this juncture, preliminary reports suggest that what remains at the site will need to be brought down. What happens after that is not likely to be determined for some time.
The collapse of a high-rise structure under construction is always an alarming event. With that understood, these types of construction site accidents occur with what fairly can be described as frightening frequency. Indeed, construction site deaths are some of the most common types of fatal accidents in the United States. Approximately 20 percent of all workplace deaths occur at construction sites.
In addition to tragic deaths arising from construction site accidents, including building collapses like the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel, injuries sustained as a result of these incidents can have life-altering consequences. A person injured in a construction site accident involving a building collapse very well may end up with a permanent disability or disfigurement of some sort.
The aftereffects of a construction site accident can prevent a person from returning to work any time soon, if ever. The victim of a construction site accident, including a building collapse, may endure the need for medical care and treatment for an indefinite period of time. Pain and suffering may be endured for months, years, or even the remainder of a person’s life.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a construction site accident like a building collapse, you should make sure you understand your legal rights. A construction site accident lawyer, like a member of the legal team at The Doan Law Firm, can provide you the information you need and protect your vital legal interests. An initial consultation and case evaluation can be obtained by calling (800) 349-0000.
A nationwide law practice, The Doan Law Firm represents construction site accident victims from coast-to-coast. There is no charge for an initial consultation. The Doan Law Firm has an attorney fee promise: no fee unless the firm wins for you.