New Orleans spending $400K a day on hotel collapse: mayor

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the city has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per day to respond to the partial collapse of a hotel earlier this month.

Cantrell said Monday during a news conference that the hefty figure of $400,000 doesn't include the hit to the city's economy.

The city is tracking expenses and intends to seek reimbursement from the "responsible party," the mayor proclaimed.

Tragedy struck on Oct. 12 when the Hard Rock Hotel under construction at the corner of Canal and Rampart Streets at the edge of the historic French Quarter partially collapsed, killing three and injuring dozens.

According to contractor Citadel Builders LLC, which employs people on the site, more than 100 people were working at the building when the incident occurred.

So far, one of the bodies has been removed. Cantrell said they are still working on recovering the other two bodies.

Two large cranes from the Hard Rock Hotel construction collapse are seen in this aerial photo after crashing down, after being detonated for implosion in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The news conference came one day after the city used controlled explosions to bring down two cranes that had been leaning precariously over the partially collapsed hotel. Cantrell previously said recovering the remains would be a priority once the cranes were down.

The hotel is being developed by Hard Rock International with local real estate development and management business Kailas Companies through a Delaware-registered limited liability corporation called 1031 Canal Development, property records show.

Around the same time as Cantrell's announcement, Hard Rock International chairman Jim Allen said the completion of its New Orleans hotel, which has already been in the works for more than a decade, could be delayed two years after the collapse.

"It's important to want to move forward, but we certainly have to work through the process itself. The surrounding businesses, all that economic impact, is something we’re trying to focus on," Allen said on FOX Business’ “Cavuto: Coast to Coast" adding “Our prayers are with the families."

The project drew up controversy in 2011 when New Orleans officials voted to give then-developer Praveen Kailas zoning waivers for extra height beyond what was allowed in the area, reported.


The project was initially delayed when Kailas was sentenced to prison for overbilling a government program, and another family member took over.


The Associated Press and FOX Business' James Leggate contributed to this report.