At least two people were killed and many injured on Saturday after the top floors of a New Orleans hotel that was under construction got collapsed in the US, according to officials.
The New Orleans fire department received reports in the local time that the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans had collapsed.
Fire Chief Timothy McConnel said that one person died at the scene, adding that the building is now structurally unstable.
“Another collapse is possible,” he told AFP
Firefighters evacuated construction workers inside the hotel after the “upper six to eight” floors collapsed, McConnell said.
Another video on social media showed what looked like a metal structure — part of the building or a piece of construction equipment — tumbling to the ground and people running from the scene as clouds of dust billowed up, obscuring the view like a thick fog.
One of the guests, Sue Hurley said that she was reminded of news accounts of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“I heard a huge noise and thought it was a plane crashing”, she added.
“18 people were taken to the hospital and several others went to the hospital on their own”, officials said.
Officials further said that none of their injuries was believed to be life-threatening.
Urban search and rescue teams entered a section of the building Saturday in hopes of finding two missing people alive, said Fire Chief Tim McConnell.
Authorities later said one of the missings was dead.
Citadel Builders LLC, the contractor on the project, said that more than 100 workers were on-site at the time of the collapse.
An email from spokesman Brian Trascher said company officials were working with emergency workers on a plan to stabilize the building.
During a news briefing, Louisiana Gov, John Bel Edwards said that right after the incident, he immediately visited the site.
The Democrat was defending his seat in a primary election on late Saturday that forced him into a runoff next month.
The fire department is still working to evacuate nearby buildings, particularly apartment complexes.