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PART OF NEW ORLEANS HARD ROCK HOTEL UNDER CONSTRUCTION COLLAPSES

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed a second death Saturday night, and said a third person remained missing, after a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino building under construction in the city’s downtown area partially collapsed earlier in the day.

More than 20 other people were reported injured in the collapse.

The bodies were spotted by search teams inspecting the damage after the collapse, but the remains could not be recovered, the station reported. Cranes capable of lifting the collapsed portions of the hotel structure were being transported to New Orleans as part of the response effort, according to the station.

The crane is approximately 270 feet tall and more, possibly larger equipment will be needed to stabilize it.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the uptown side of Bienville Street, the downtown side of Canal Street and lakeside of Burgundy Street as well as additional road and traffic closures spanning further out of the area, officials announced.

The cause of the collapse wasn’t immediately known.

The building was under construction at the corner of Rampart Street and Canal Street, a broad boulevard just outside the city’s famous French Quarter, lined with restaurants, hotels and retailers. Canal, which carries six lanes of traffic divided by a wide median where streetcars roll, separates the Quarter from the city’s main business district.

The development calls for 350 hotel rooms and condominiums. Plans were unveiled last year. The hotel was scheduled to open in the spring.

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