Biloxi native dies in Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans


We’re beginning to learn more about the second victim from last Saturday’s Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans.

Forty-nine year-old Anthony Magrette has been identified as the second victim.

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News 25’s Andrew Scherer spoke with his relative to learn more about the Biloxi native.

It was like any other Saturday morning for Nova Espinoza as she dropped off her husband Anthony Magrette to work at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site, but little did she know, her world was about to be changed forever.

Espinoza received a call from her husband’s boss, alerting her of the collapse and the belief that her husband was trapped inside.

Espinoza dropped her things and arrived on site to wait for her husband’s hopeful return. “I feel extremely emotional, I mean, one minute I feel confident that they’re gonna get him, and then the next minute I feel like everything is going to come crashing down.”

On Sunday evening, her world came crashing down when she discovered that her husband was killed in the collapse. Magrette was described by family as a ‘fun loving human being.’

Magrette’s sister Joann Chesser spoke with us on the phone and couldn’t begin to find the words to describe her brother. “He meant everything to me. He was the sweetest, kindest guy. He would make everybody laugh, all the kids, the nieces, the nephews. He treated them like he was their own kids.”

Magrette moved from Biloxi while in high school and resided in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for the past few years.

According to Chesser, Magrette was scheduled to be off of work on Saturday, but chose to work after an incident the night before. “They were walking back from the store that was by their home and two guys jumped him and took his money and took off.”

As officials continue their search for the last victim and try to find a way to stabilize the structure, Chesser wonders if the death of her brother could have been prevented. “I think that’s the only time that I’ve stopped crying about him being gone is when I think about how careless this was, where it shouldn’t have happened.”

Over $2,400 has been raised for Magrette’s funeral services. If you’d like to donate visit their GoFundMe.


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