NEW ORLEANS – A month ago, the under-construction Hard Rock hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter partially collapsed, killing three and injuring dozens. Now city officials have announced that the entire 18-story structure would be imploded.
Engineers hired by the building's owners said it will take nine weeks to demolish the buildings and then three months to remove the debris. The process will stretch through a busy tourist season in New Orleans that includes New Year’s, the Sugar Bowl and Mardi Gras.
A controlled demolition, according to New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell, is the only safe way to bring down the damaged building. The building’s owners, and not the city, will pay all the costs of the demolition.
“I cannot emphasize enough that the city will remain in control of this,” McConnell said.
Hard Rock Hotel: Construction collapses in New Orleans; 2 dead, 1 missing
McConnell also said that no major implosions would take place while the city was hosting a major event.
The upper floors of the Hard Rock hotel unexpectedly collapsed on the morning of Oct. 12, sending dust and debris raining down into the streets below. The cause remains under investigation by the New Orleans Police Department and Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
The collapse also damaged two cranes, which were in danger of collapsing onto surrounding historic buildings. Those cranes were partially imploded on Oct. 20. A section of one crane now dangles off the building and over Canal Street, a major commercial street on the border of the French Quarter. A separate team of engineers has been brought in to safely secure that section of the crane to the building.
Hard Rock Hotel: Demolition blasts one crane near French Quarter, other dangles
Streets immediately around the Hard Rock site remain blocked and businesses are closed. The bodies of two of the men killed in the collapse remain in the rubble. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by bystanders, nearby business and workers on the site.
Hard Rock Hotel collapse: Lawsuits mount following October accident
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This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Hard Rock hotel in New Orleans will be demolished after collapse