NEW ORLEANS — Rescuers will resume searching Sunday for a construction worker trapped in a pile of rubble after a hotel that was under construction collapsed in New Orleans.
Two people were killed in Saturday’s collapse and at least 18 were injured, authorities said.
Crews suspended the search for the missing worker until Sunday morning.
A crane was brought in early Sunday to help stabilize the partially destroyed structure and enable additional response operations, the city of New Orleans’ Office of Emergency Preparedness said.
The building that collapsed, a soon-to-be Hard Rock Hotel near the city’s historic French Quarter, was under construction. More than 100 workers were on site when the building gave way, Citadel Builders spokesman Brian Trascher said in a statement.
“Citadel representatives remain engaged and will be working with the City and engineering experts throughout the night and until a solution can be implemented,” the statement from the company, which was the general contractor over the project, said.
Authorities have not said what caused the collapse but warned the building remained unstable and another collapse was possible.
Two dead, at least 18 injured
When portions of the building crashed to the ground Saturday morning, authorities said one worker had been killed, more than a dozen were injured and two were missing.
Early Sunday, the city’s office of emergency preparedness confirmed a second fatality and said one person remained unaccounted for.
Video footage of the moments of disaster showed workers emerging from a cloud of dust after the building’s upper floors collapsed and debris littered the street below.
All those who were injured are in stable condition, said Emily Nichols, the city’s director of emergency medical services. She did not give a specific number of injured.
Mandatory evacuations in the surrounding areas were issued Saturday as city officials said the building was stable but unsupported, CNN affiliate WDSU reported.
There was a strong possibility of further collapse, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent, Tim McConnell, said Saturday. He compared Saturday’s damage to that of an earthquake.
A crane weighing several tons that was attached to the building was unstable and could also collapse, McConnell said.
“All residents should continue to stay away from the area, and to heed the street closures and traffic warnings,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a tweet Saturday night. “We appreciate the public’s response and support, and we are praying for the victims and their families.”