According to authorities, at least 11 people were hurt and one person was missing after an apparent explosion caused significant damage to a hotel in downtown Fort Worth on Monday afternoon.
Craig Trojacek, a spokesperson for the Fort Worth Fire Department, stated at a press conference that one person was in critical condition and two were in severe condition. He said that eight others received minor injuries.
The reason of the suspected explosion at the Sandman Signature hotel remained unknown. Trojacek said that there was “a smell of gas in the area,” but it was unclear whether gas was involved.
Video and photographs from the incident revealed significant damage to the bottom level of the building, as well as debris lying across the street.
According to a spokesman for Atmos Energy, which delivers natural gas to North Texas, the gas company is investigating the apparent explosion.
“We were getting reports that it had started in the restaurant,” Trojacek said. “We’re not 100 percent sure that that’s where it actually started at this point.”
The hotel, he noted, had been under construction.
A statement by the Fort Worth Fire Department indicated that a reunion location for individuals searching for loved ones has been set up in a parking lot a few streets away from the hotel.
Tarrant government Judge Tim O’Hare said on social media that he has ordered government facilities in downtown Fort Worth to shut for the day out of “an abundance of caution.”
JUST IN: Explosion reported at the Sandman Signature Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.
According to CBS News who was at the scene, 10 people are injured.
“We are currently working a Major Incident. Please avoid the downtown area. PIOs are on scene. We will share more details… pic.twitter.com/6cW47VQGWY
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) January 8, 2024
The hotel is housed in one of Fort Worth’s most historically important structures. The 20-story W.T. Waggoner Building, which was built in 1920, was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The register identifies it as a “physical manifestation of Fort Worth’s critical role in the national oil boom.”
In updates to the initial news, reactions and more details were provided.
— Tabitha (@tabigibson) January 8, 2024
Gas leak most likely. Terrible stuff. These aging gas lines and valves are ticking time bombs but nothing really can be done about it because the cost would be too high and voters will never go for that. Sad.
— Ben Herr (@benjayherr) January 8, 2024
PHOTOS – Explosion (Fort Worth) Fort Worth FD is on scene of a reported explosion in the 800 block of Houston Street in downtown. Requesting a 2nd alarm. Injuries have been reported. Updates to follow. Avoid this area. Thanks to Chelsea Davidson for the photos. pic.twitter.com/Ubr7nznHxE
— DFW Scanner (@DFWscanner) January 8, 2024