The new Hard Rock hotel currently being built in New Orleans collapsed this morning, with many of the news services blaming it on the “collapse of a construction crane” even though there was no evidence of this. What looks like a hoist mast and loading platform came down with the facade, and it is possible that they might have just have been involved with the building's failure? but it is impossible to determine that at this stage.
Sadly the incident has resulted in at least one death and 18 injuries, all of them construction workers on the site. One of the two tower cranes – both Liebherr from the Morrow fleet - is very vulnerable given that it was erected in the lift shaft, which has now gone, while the collapse appears to have damaged the tower.
One of the cranes was lifting a beam at the time, and was badly affected by the collapse, but assuming the operator was not hurt, he has had plenty of time to climb down to safety.
What actually caused the collapse is not known, a video of the moment the building collapsed can be seen below. We will update this reports when we learn more. We understand that up to three construction workers are still unaccounted for.
Two men have now been confirmed dead in the incident, Anthony Floyd Magrette, 49, and one other. A third man is still missing, all others have been accounted for. Both cranes have now been confirmed as unstable, one of them particularly so. Morrow has flown in a senior engineer while Liebherr has sent one of its most experienced engineers to help devise a safe dismantle plan for the two cranes.