Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr

Hard Rock Hotel Victim Recovery is Further Delayed

12:00 July 29, 2020
By: McKenna Smith

According to a report by Time Magazine, last week, New Orleans heard from city leaders, including Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell, who laid out the plans for the body-recovery of Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce Arreola—the victims who remain in the wreckage of the Hard Rock Hotel. However, further delays have pushed back the already overdue recovery efforts.

The original plan, to have retrieved the body of Quinnyon Wimberly by the end of last week and the body of Jose Ponce Arreola by the middle of this week, seems to have fallen short, due to malfunctioning equipment and storm delays, according to

The contractor involved informed McConnell of the delay but offered no updated timeline as to when the building will be safe for rescue teams to enter.

According to 4WWL, since July 13, wrecking balls have been put to use dismantling parts of the building in order to clear the way for rescue teams to be lowered in on baskets.

"The timeline has shifted dramatically," said McConnell. "Not having it this week is significant."

The 10-month holdup from the October 12, 2019, hotel collapse is due to disputes between 1031 Canal Development LLC, the building developer, and the city, as to how best to retrieve the bodies and pull down the structure.

"We're at more than 10 months now," said McConnell. "It's very frustrating for rescuers who do this for a living. It's even more so for the families."

Both McConnell and Mayor Cantrell have been in contact with each of the men's families and have updated them as to the status of the operation.

At the moment, the building remains too dangerous and unstable for teams to enter.

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