HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – The Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood has reopened about 10 hours after, officials said, an explosion caused part of the drywall to come crashing down, injuring more than two dozen people and sending six of them to the hospital.
7News cameras captured the entrance to the casino, located at 4150 N State Road 7, back open to the public, Monday night.
“We reopened at 8:30, and people have been coming back in there to have fun,” said Gary Bitner, a spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Just before 10 a.m., however, it was a chaotic scene inside the casino.
Cellphone video captured a hole in the wall near some slot machines and debris scattered across the floor.
“A big explosion, and everybody got out and started running,” said witness Rainier Hernandez.
“It got all dark like smoke, getting all the fiber from the walls. I don’t even know what is that,” said another witness.
“Like a big bomb, like a bomb went off,” said a woman who was near the spot where the drywall came down.
Hollywood Fire Rescue units responded at around 10:30 a.m.
Officials with the Seminole Tribe, which owns the casino, said it appears workers were conducting twice-yearly maintenance on a fire suppression system behind the drywall.
“They were in the process of doing that, had finished and reconnected the hoses to the system, when one of them ruptured and caused three of the tanks to instantly empty,” said Bitner. “Pieces of it, actually, combusted, and it pushed other items around in the area where it was, because it was powerful.”
The building was evacuated.
Twenty patients were treated for minor injuries at the scene, and six people were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.
“There were six people transported, there were 20 people who refused transport, that’s a combination of employees and guests who were here at the time,” said Bitner. “There were about 100 people between employees and guests here when this happened.”
7SkyForce hovered above the scene as first responders treated victims.
“A lot of fiberglass in my body and all that,” said Hernandez.
“I was close to it, so I was checked by the paramedics, and I’m going home,” said the woman. “Everything seems to be under control.”
7News cameras captured paramedics as they wheeled one of the patients into the hospital.
One of the victims sustained a head injury that was not considered life-threatening. There were no reports of significant injuries.
By Monday afternoon, four of the six people who were taken to the hospital had already been released.
Bitner said the drywall has since been repaired.
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