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Amid outcry, new tarp placed over exposed body at Hard Rock collapse site

6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago Wednesday, January 22 2020 Jan 22, 2020 January 22, 2020 2:48 PM January 22, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: WWL-TV

NEW ORLEANS - Hours after officials said it would be too dangerous to attempt to place another cover over a dead body at the unstable Hard Rock collapse site, the city appears to have done just that.

The ongoing saga concerning the downtown New Orleans hotel took a morbid turn Tuesday when a tarp fell away from the building and revealed the body of a worker killed in the Oct. 12 collapse to passersby on the ground.

WWL-TV reports that on Wednesday a new tarp appeared where the body had once been visible, roughly a day after public outcry reached a fever pitch. Photos of what appeared to be the partially exposed body had quickly spread across social media a day earlier. 

Mayor Latoya Cantrell released a statement Tuesday afternoon shaming those who had shared pictures online, and called for residents and news outlets to "have nothing to do with making a tragic situation needlessly worse." Cantrell also said there was little the city could immediately do to move or obscure the body due to the building's poor integrity.

The mayor's statement was met with harsh criticism from locals, who lamented the months-long timeline that will ultimately have crews imploding the unstable hotel in March. The backlash was such that it prompted another statement from the mayor Wednesday emphasizing that the recovery of the remains was a "top priority."

The hotel was undergoing construction when it first collapsed back in October, killing multiple workers inside.

Workers initially placed a tarp on the building to hide the exposed body, but it had seemingly been knocked away sometime this past week. City officials suggested Tuesday and Wednesday that deteriorating conditions at the site had made replacing the tarp too great a risk. 

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