While there is no public timeline for when Ponce Areola will be recovered, officials have said they hope to bring down the half-ruined structure by October
NEW ORLEANS (WWL-TV) — The body of Quinnyon Wimberly, one of the two men trapped in the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in October, was recovered Saturday after 10 months.
The recovery of Wimberly and Jose Ponce Areola from the wreckage has been pushed back several times in the months since the collapse, leading to frustration from family members and the city at large.
Representatives for 1031 Canal Development, the Hard Rock’s owner, blamed delays on issued with finding insurance, then finding a contractor for demolition work, then rain and finally connectivity issues with some of the robotic equipment.
The City of New Orleans has been impatient, with government officials taking 1031 Canal to court over a timeline for recovery and demolition.
While there is no publicly available timeline for when Ponce Areola will be recovered, officials have said they hope to bring down the half-ruined structure by October, a year after the initial collapse.
Once the remains are retrieved, the plan is to demolish the building rather quickly. The work is taking place close to the peak of hurricane season, which typically comes in mid-August and lasts until early October.
Anthony Magrette, the third worker killed in the Oct. 12 collapse, was removed months ago. The reason several tons of concrete fell, blanketing one of New Orleans’ most trafficked intersections in dust and debris, is still under investigation.
Eyewitness News investigators have uncovered evidence of improper structural work, negligent city inspectors and other factors that could have led to the deadly incident.