Gamblers sent scattering and 26 injured after fire suppression tank explodes at Florida casino
- The explosion occurred shortly before 10am on Monday, forcing six people to be hospitalized from their injuries
- There were 100 people in the building at the time of the explosion, tribe officials reported
- The blast was caused during routine maintenance of a fire suppression system that uses compressed gas to extinguish flames
- It occurred when a line workers reconnected to a compressed gas canister on the second floor ruptured, sending debris flying onto the casino below
Early-morning gamblers at a Florida casino were sent running from their slot machines Monday after part of a fire suppression system exploded during servicing, officials said.
The sudden blast at the popular casino in Hollywood injured 26 people, with six of the wounded requiring hospitalization, but none of the injuries were considered life threatening, the Seminole Classic Casino reported.
Contract workers were performing routine, six-month maintenance on the building’s fire suppression system, which uses a compressed non-flammable gas to extinguish the flames, when the explosion occurred.
A fire suppression system exploded at the Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood Florida Monday morning, injuring 26 people
The explosion occurred during routine maintenance of the system, which uses compressed gas, sending debris flying onto the casino floor below
The incident took place shortly before 10 am, when one of the lines they had recently reconnected to a tank containing the gas ruptured after they turned the system back on, Local 10 reported.
‘It had been reconnected with a gas canister,’ Seminole Tribe spokesperson Gary Bitner told the station. ‘It’s actually fire suppression equipment that uses gas to put out a fire.’
It is housed on the second floor of the building in an equipment room along with the casino’s servers and offices, and the explosion caused serious damage to the surrounding area in addition to sending fiberglass, drywall and other debris flying into the casino area below, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
There were about 100 patrons and employees in the building at the time of the explosion, Bitner said, and witnesses described it as a loud noise.
‘It was an extremely loud explosion,’ Keith Richards, who was inside playing blackjack told Local 10. ‘Like a transformer burst. It was a very loud sound. You see all those fibers falling from the drywall.’
Six of the wounded required hospitalization, but none of the injuries were considered life threatening
The remaining 20 of the injured were treated on scene for eye irritation, scrapes and bruises
‘There was a big explosion in the wall and then something, I don’t know, it got all dark like smoke, getting all the fiber from the walls. I don’t even know what is that,’ another witness told WSVN.
One of the injured suffered blunt force trauma to the head, and was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.
There were about 100 employees and patrons in the building at the time of the explosion
Seminole tribe officials said the casino would remain closed for the foreseeable future
The 20 who were not hospitalized were treated on the scene for minor injuries such as eye irritation, scrapes and bruises.
No dangerous chemicals were involved in the explosion, but the casino will remain closed for the foreseeable future, tribe officials reported.
‘We were very lucky that the injuries were mainly minimal,’ Bitner told the Sun Sentinel.
‘And obviously we’re going to make sure we understand exactly what happened so it never happens again.’