Irene Wimberly is comforted by Mayor Latoya Cantrell as the body of her son, Quinnyon Wimberly, is recovered from the Hard Rock Hotel collapse site on Aug. 8. Photo: Matthew Hinton

PHOTOS: Emotions high as body recovered from Hard Rock Hotel site

On Aug. 8, the body of Quinnyon Wimberly was removed from the site after nearly 10 months. His family and city officials were at the site Saturday morning.

by Matthew Hinton | August 8, 2020

Almost 10 months after the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel, crews recovered the body of Quinnyon Wimberly.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell was at the collapse site to comfort family members when the news came that Wimberly’s body had been removed from the building. Those at the site included his brother Frank Wimberly and mother Irene Wimberly.

The recovery of Wimberly’s body was initially stated to happen last week, but officials said weather delays slowed their progress.

Crews began the daunting task for demolishing the remnants of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse on May 15. The collapse happened in Oct. 2019, killing three workers.

Movement on demolishing the site was stagnant from Oct. 23 until May. Two unstable cranes on the site were previously imploded, but legal battles between the city and the site developer, 1031 Canal Development LLC, kept progress at a halt.

The body of Jose Ponce Arreola is still trapped in site wreckage.


Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton is a New Orleans area freelance photographer whose work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Best of Photojournalism Awards in 2014 and 2016, and by numerous awards from the Press Club of New Orleans, including the Hal Ledet President's Print Photography Award, the highest honor the Press Club can bestow upon a photographer.
Matthew Hinton has previously been a staff photographer at both of the daily newspapers in New Orleans. His work has appeared nationally and internationally through freelance work with the Associated Press and AFP, Agence France-Presse.

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