Honduran worker injured during Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans faces being DEPORTED after he was arrested for ‘fishing without a license’ and found to have only ‘foreign citizenship documentation’
- Delmer Ramirez Palma arrested days after giving an interview to a TV news crew
- He was injured in New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel collapse that killed three people
- The Honduran-born laborer was arrested for allegedly fishing without a license
- Ramirez showed ‘foreign citizenship documentation’ when questioned by agents
A construction worker who survived the collapse of the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel has been detained by ICE and is expected to be deported.
Delmer Ramirez Palma was arrested just days after talking to a local news channel about his close escape from the falling building on October 12.
The Honduran-born laborer was arrested two days later for allegedly fishing without a license, NOLA.com reports.
He was stopped in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East and when agents asked him to identify himself, Ramirez showed ‘foreign citizenship documentation’, a Border Patrol spokesman said.
A judge had previously ordered Ramirez to be deported in 2016, according to ICE.
Two large cranes from the Hard Rock Hotel construction collapse are seen in this aerial photo after crashing down during a controlled detonated for implosion in New Orleans yesterday
Three construction workers died in the accident and more than 20 people were left injured when when several floors of the under-construction multistory building pancaked.
Two cranes had been badly damaged when the hotel’s upper floors collapsed into each other, sending debris tumbling to the street and plumes of dust into the air, near a corner of the city’s historic French Quarter.
Ramirez’s attorneys said their client requires surgery, but claim he is unable to get access to much needed medical treatment at the detention center in Oakdale, Louisiana.
He is one of five laborers who were wounded at during the collapse and have filed a lawsuit at Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Friday against project’s owners and contractors seeking damages for their injuries.
They alleged the collapse was caused by inadequate materials and supports being used in the construction of the part-finished hotel.
The cause of the collapse remains unknown and an investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration is underway.
Three construction workers died and more than 20 people were injured when several floors of the under-construction building collapsed on October 12
Daryl Gray, Ramirez’s lawyer, said his client’s case illustrates why some of the collapse site workers are were reluctant to come forward.
Gray told a news conference: ‘[The workers] fear being deported or some other retribution by their employers.
‘Immigrants are exploited for the growth of our great nation. And that does not have to be the case.’
Bryan Cox, a regional spokesman for ICE told the The Times-Picayune it was ‘simply false’ to suggest Ramirez’s arrest was directly tied to his employment at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site.
Yesterday controlled explosions were set off to topple the two cranes that had loomed precariously for days over the partially collapsed hotel.
The city had been rushing to remove the cranes ahead of the incoming Tropical Storm Nestor.
New Orleans officials set off several explosions yesterday intended to topple two cranes that had been looming over the ruins of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel
It went ‘exactly’ as planned, officials said, and efforts now focus on retrieving two bodies still inside the ruined building.
The cranes – one around 270 feet (82 meters) high, the other about 300 feet (91 meters) – weighed thousands of tons.
They had been tilting dangerously, and officials had feared the towers would come down on their own, possibly smashing into nearby buildings or severely damaging underground gas and electric lines.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell of New Orleans said she expects the hotel will ultimately be demolished.
‘We know that we are safer now than we have been in the past eight days,’ she said.
Experts, including engineers who worked on demolitions following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, were called in to try to come up with a plan to clear the site and prevent further injury and damage before the cranes fell of their own accord.