(Photo: Infrogmation | CC)
The body of the last construction worker that was killed in the Hard Rock Hotel collapse and remained trapped in the ruins for 10 months was recovered on Monday, city officials confirmed.
Crews removed the body of Jose Ponce Arreola, 63, from the collapse site located at 1031 Canal St. shortly after 4 p.m., according to New Orleans Fire Superintendent Tim McConnell
The recovery team was composed of members from the New Orleans Fire Department and Louisiana Task Force 1, which was led by Capt. Danny Simon.
McConnell commended the teams vigilance and dedication during the monthslong recovery process.
The remains of Quinnyon Wimberly, 36, were recovered Aug. 9. Wimberly, Arreola and Anthony Magrette, 49, were killed and more than a dozen were injured on the morning of Oct. 12, 2019 when the 18-story Hard Rock Hotel building partially collapsed.
Magrette’s remains were recovered the day after the collapse.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and McConnell witnessed a private service with Arreola’s family at the collapse site on Monday.
Safe and respectful removal of the bodies has been a top priority since the collapse occurred, according to Cantrell
“We are grateful to finally have some measure of closure for both families, who had to experience an intolerable delay,” Cantrell said in a press release. “Moving forward, we will continue to hold ownership accountable, at every level.”