1 person killed, 18 sent to hospital after crane collapses at Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans

National

(ABC NEWS) — At least one person was killed and several others injured after a crane collapsed at the under-construction Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, officials said.

Eighteen people were transported to local hospitals and three were still missing, New Orleans Fire Chief Timothy McConnell said at a press conference Saturday.

EMS Director Emily Nichols said the victims taken to the hospital were “all stable at this time.” It was not clear if the people unaccounted for were trapped or left the scene.

Police did not identify the deceased person, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The collapse happened around 9:12 a.m. local time at Canal and North Rampart Streets, McConnell said. It affected the sixth to eighth floors.

McConnell urged the public to avoid the area and said another collapse was “absolutely” possible because of how unstable the building is.

He called the situation “very dangerous” since the crane, which weighs tons, is not supported.

Dramatic video of the incident showed the crane falling into the street as debris billowed into the air.

It was not clear what caused the collapse, which affected the sixth and eighth floors.

Police did not identify the deceased person, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Surrounding buildings, including condominiums, were being evacuated. Nearby streets were closed to vehicles, according to NOLA Ready, the city’s emergency preparedness center.

Hard Rock International said in a statement the company had “no involvement in the construction of the project” but extended its “deepest sympathies to victims of this tragic accident and to their loved ones and friends.”

The general contractor hired for the project, Citadel Builders, did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment.

Hard Rock was planning a 350-room hotel within New Orleans’ Theater District.

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