Dr. Emily Nichols, the Director of New Orlean's Emergency Medical Services, told reporters that EMS offered to transport 19 people to the hospital; 18 accepted and were transported and one refused.
At around 10:15 am ET, the upper three floors of the building collapsed, according to Tim McConnell, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent.
It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse. Led by Florida-based Hard Rock International, the development called for 350 hotel rooms on the site of the former Woolworth Department Store. One swayed precariously after the building collapsed, and bits and pieces of debris continued to fall to the ground below. He confirmed three people are still missing, and it is unknown whether they walked off from the site or are trapped.
He witnessed the collapse from a Tulane School of Public Health classroom in a nearby building. However, there are no reports of anyone on the street being injured.
"I'm just asking for everyone to lift up in prayer", added Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
He says a large crane is unstable and further collapse is possible.
The building is on the corner of Iberville and North Rampart streets. Afterward, people were kept away over worries that the rest of the building or the cranes being used to build it would come down, too.