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Body Of Construction Worker Finally Recovered Nearly 10 Months After Hard Rock Hotel Collapsed In New Orleans
The body of a construction worker who was killed in the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans 10 months ago, has finally been removed.
On the morning of Oct. 12, 2019, Police and emergency medical services were called to the construction site of the Hard Rock Hotel, located on Canal St. in Downtown New Orleans, where the top six to eight floors of the building had unexpectedly collapsed. 36-year-old Quinnyon Wimberly was one of three construction workers killed in the tragic incident though only one body was recovered at the time.
The bodies of Wimberly and 63-year-old Jose Ponce Arreola had been inside the building since the collapse in October. The third victim, Anthony Magrette, was removed shortly after the collapse.
For nearly a year, the bodies of Wimberly and Arreola remained inside the construction site, sometimes visible to the public. City officials said they weren’t able to remove the bodies safely because the building was too unstable. It was initially suggested that they’d have to demolish the building with the bodies inside.
“This has been a long journey, but the longest journey has been for the family,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference. “Long time coming to get Quinnyon Wimberly out of the building. It was an intolerable wait.”
A spokesperson for 1031 Canal Development LLC, the property owner, told ABC News that the main concern for the company has always been health and safety. The spokesperson also added that two tropical storms in the region caused some delays.
Wimberly’s family watched in horror as his body was finally pulled from the building on Aug. 8.
“We all lost it,” Frank Wimberly, Quinnyon’s brother, said.
He was joined by his mother, Irene, his father, Quinnyon’s fiance, and Quinnyon’s youngest son.
They gathered around the bodybag and city chaplain for prayer.
Quinnyon’s body was taken to the Orleans Parish Coroner for an autopsy and then is expected to be brought to Louisiana State University for a forensics examination. The family likely will receive his remains in about two months.
New Orleans Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell said workers now will seek to retrieve the last remaining body but noted that it could take some time as Arreola’s body hasn’t been located in the collapsed building.