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The last remains recovered from the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel site in New Orleans

The body of the last New Orleans worker killed in October 2019 during the partial collapse of a Hard Rock hotel construction site was finally found this week.

The remains of José Ponce Arreola, 63, were recovered on Monday, and those of Quinnyon Wimberly, 36, were removed from the wreckage on August 8, the mayor’s office told NBC News. The body of a third man, Anthony Magrette, 49, was removed a day after the collapse.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell told the press conference on Tuesday that she expects the building to be demolished now.

“The city’s top priority, with regard to the collapse of Hard Rock, in this tragedy, was to ensure public safety, as well as to ensure that José and Quinnyon’s remains are returned to their families,” she declared.

The recovery mission began last month.

The three workers were killed on October 12 when part of the 18-story building collapsed during construction. Authorities had said dangerous conditions prevented them from recovering the bodies of Wimberly, whose remains were trapped on the 11th floor, and Ponce, who was on the 8th floor.

“We are grateful to finally have a closure measure for the two families, who have had to suffer an intolerable delay,” Cantrell said in a statement. declaration Monday, adding that Ponce’s family held a service for him.

“It is a terrible relief to finally begin to bring this process to an end. The safe and respectful dismissal of our people has always been a top priority, and I am grateful to God that this day has finally arrived.”

Quinnyon Wimberly’s mother Irene has previously said she isn’t going to blame the reason why the recovery process took almost a year.

“It’s been a long time and it’s been almost 10 months, but it’s not because they weren’t trying,” she said in a phone interview last month. “From day one I told them I didn’t want to see anyone else injured or killed. I wouldn’t want anyone’s life to be in danger trying to get him out.”

In addition to the three people who lost their lives that day, dozens more were injured in the collapse.

A Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) The collapse report released in April found that Heaslip Engineering had committed “serious” and “willful” violations and noted that “structural steel connections were poorly designed, reviewed or approved.”

The developer said in January that the cause of the collapse was still under investigation and that he was “relying on design professionals to construct the building,” Engineering News-Record reported.

This week Mario Ponce Arreola, Ponce’s brother, told the Daily Tennessean, “It’s been 10 months of anguish, wondering if they would find him. We had very little information on what was going on.

Ponce, local press reported after the collapse, had planned to retire in Mexico. From now on, he will be buried there.