NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Fire Department Supt. Tim McConnell held a media briefing Monday afternoon to update recovery efforts at the Hard Rock Hotel collapse site.
Crews began work Monday (July 13) to remove the remains of two workers still inside the Hard Rock collapse site. The building collapsed last October.
McConnell said significant progress was made over the weekend at the site.
The recovery of the remains could come at the end of this week or sometime next week. Crews will need to remove more debris before they can safely recover the bodies.
Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno has released a statement in response to the upcoming removal of victims Jose Ponce Arreola and Quinnyon Wimberly from the Hard Rock Hotel wreckage:
“Today, as demolition at 1301 Canal continues, we learned that the bodies of 63-year-old Jose Ponce Arreola and 36-year-old Quinnyon Wimberly will soon be removed from the wreckage of 1301 Canal.For the families of these men, I can offer my deepest sympathies - not just for the loss of their loved ones, but the prolonged and public nature of their temporary resting places.
This tragedy should never have happened, and it has taken far too long to be able to deliver dignity to these men who unfairly perished due to the terrible mistakes and misdeeds of others. To the families of Mr. Arreola and Mr. Wimberly, I know life will never be the same.I am hopeful that this long-overdue step will bring some small measure of comfort to these grieving families.
I will continue to use the full power of my authority as a Councilmember to determine the truth behind this disaster and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”
Once the bodies have been removed, the two collapsed cranes will be removed. McConnell hopes that is done before the city gets deep into storm season.