The Associated Press reports that a gas explosion at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center led to the evacuation of 5,000 guests.
The explosion took place on Tuesday night at 8:15 p.m., but the guests were allowed to return to their rooms on early Wednesday. Opryland Hotel was evacuated after a gas explosion occurred at around 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday night.
The convention center was severely damaged as a result of the explosion, but police officers stated that there were no victims or injuries.
As a matter of fact, the 5,000 guests that had been evacuated were allowed to return to their rooms on Wednesday morning. Capt. Ken Walburn of the Nashville Fire Department explained reporters that the explosion occurred in the convention center, which is why nobody got hurt.
The incident was caused by a gas leak which was ignited at the first floor of the building, in a mechanical room. The escalator, the walls and the ceiling of the respective area were significantly damaged. In fact, the blast was so strong that the ceiling of the third floor was also affected by the explosion.
He concluded that he was amazed to see no one was hurt. The incident might have caused a lot of misunderstandings if it hadn’t been for authorities. The convention center was getting ready to host the 2012 National Sheriffs Association; thus, the hotel was occupied by numerous sheriffs from the entire country.
Police officers emphasized the fact that the evacuation was caused by a gas explosion and not by a bomb, because they did not want them to believe that it was a terrorist attack.
The area was inspected by FBI and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in order to determine any traces of suspicious activity, but the building was safe.
One of the guests at the hotel, Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, was very close to the floor where the explosion occurred, so he could feel the blast and watch the debris falling. He admitted that most of the guests thought the hotel was attacked by terrorists.