One dead, multiple injuries in New Orleans hotel collapse

WWL-TV shows the scene after a large portion of the Hard Rock Hotel which is under construction suddenly collapsed Oct. 12 2019 in New Orleans

He witnessed the collapse from a Tulane School of Public Health classroom in a nearby building. Several people taken to University Medical Center are in critical condition, said Royce Duplessis, a Louisiana State Representative who is on the scene.

The New Orleans fire department received reports at 9.12am local time that the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans had collapsed.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is on the scene in New Orleans and held a press conference earlier this morning where the fire chief confirmed the fatality.

He explained how one person had a very lucky escape, adding: "One guy - I don't know how he was spared - there was rubble all around him". Led by Florida-based Hard Rock International, the development called for 350 hotel rooms on the site of the former Woolworth Department Store.

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"This remains a very fluid and unsafe situation and every few minutes something is falling", he said, warning people to stay away. One swayed precariously after the building collapsed, and bits and pieces of debris continued to fall to the ground below.

"Our biggest fear right now is the crane, it's 270 foot. So the reach of that crane, if it were to come down has a tremendous amount of weight on it", he said.

The building had been under construction for several months now. "Structural engineers are now assessing what led to the cause of the collapse".

The developer was imprisoned before the construction began, and later the project was passed on to another member of his family.

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