A partial collapse of a building under construction in New Orleans has killed one person, injured more than a dozen others and left at least three people missing, authorities said.
At around 10:15 am ET, the upper three floors of the building collapsed, according to Tim McConnell, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent.
The building is a Hard Rock Hotel construction site, according to CNN affiliate WDSU.
“The building is unstable so a collapse is still possible — further collapse of the building,” McConnell said.
Authorities say 18 people were injured. Several people taken to University Medical Center are in critical condition, said Royce Duplessis, a Louisiana State Representative who is on the scene.
McConnell added that three people believed to be in the area of the building when it collapsed have not been located.
Several city blocks surrounding the area of Canal and Rampart streets have been closed because a crane attached to the building is unstable and could also collapse, said Duplessis.
“Our biggest fear right now is the crane,” said McConnell. “It weighs several tons.”
“There was an obvious structural failure,” said Duplessis. “Structural engineers are currently assessing what led to the cause of the collapse.”
The State Fire Marshall and Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 are on the way to the scene to assist first responders.