Final body recovered from New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel nearly a year after collapse


NEW ORLEANS (NewsNation) — The final remains of the last of three construction workers who died at the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans last year were recovered on Monday afternoon.

Jose Ponce Areola, 63, was trapped in the rubble for nearly 11 months when crews were finally able to locate and extradite his body.

On Tuesday morning, the family of Ponce-Arreola along with their attorney Arturo Jauregui, held a press conference. Jauregui says he blames the building collapse on “shoddy construction because several of the companies responsible for construction, they did not do their jobs.”

“There is a lot of blame to go around right now but the important thing is if this corporation, if this construction company has any decency in them what they need to do is, they know what they did here is wrong,” said Jauregui. “They need to put an end to it, compensate these families so they can move on.”

Jauregui went on to say the Ponce-Arreola family would like to see a memorial site erected in honor of the crew workers killed.

Authorities said they plan to demolish the building quickly since the city is in the middle of a new hurricane season. Officials have said they hope to have the structure down by October, a year after the initial collapse. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.

NewsNation affiliate WGNO contributed to this report.

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