Tropical weather threat brings worry of further collapse to site of New Orleans hotel disaster

NEW ORLEANS — A tropical disturbance over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was being eyed Tuesday by New Orleans authorities, who fear it could become a tropical depression or storm that would topple a partially collapsed building and two huge construction cranes onto neighboring buildings at the edge of the city’s historic French Quarter.

It was the latest grim news delivered near the site where two people died Saturday morning as the upper floors of a hotel under construction came tumbling down in a cloud of blinding dust. One body remained in the rubble Tuesday evening and hopes that a missing worker will be found alive in the wreckage were dimming after four days of risky searches.

Fire Chief Tim McConnell said searchers using dogs and high-tech equipment were able to get a partial view of the body known to be in the building but were unable to reach it or find the missing worker. Searchers found an unidentifiable fluid in the area that they collected. It will be tested to determine if it was from a human body and whether it could be used to identify either victim.

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