A piece of fire suppression equipment exploded at the Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood on Monday morning that sent debris and fiberglass flying, prompting shocked gamblers to run for the exits.
According to Seminole Tribe Officials, several people suffered minor injuries, but nobody was seriously hurt. Six people were taken to the Memorial Regional Hospital and four of them were already released Monday Afternoon. Another 20 people refused transport but were treated on-scene in the parking lot with minor injuries such as scrapes, bruises or eye irritation.
Seminole Tribe spokesman Gary Bitner said that there was no one close to being seriously injured but one had to be hospitalized due to a blunt trauma injury that was not life threatening, Local10.com reported.
The casino remained closed for cleanup and investigation into Monday evening but reopened its doors at 8.30 p.m.
Bitner shared that maintenance was being made to the fire suppression equipment in an equipment room behind the casino wall and when they were done fixing the system, as they turned it back on, a line that was connected to the tank raptured.
“It had been reconnected with a gas canister,” Bitner said. “It’s actually fire suppression equipment that uses gas to put out a fire.”
There were around 100 people at the 24-hour casino during the time of the incident, just before 10 a.m. Witnesses said they heard a noisy boom.
“It was an extremely loud explosion,” according to witness Keith Richards, who was playing blackjack inside. “Like a transformer burst. It was a very loud sound. You see all those fibers falling from the drywall.”
People rushed for the exits immediately after the explosion caused insulation and fiberglass on the casino’s floor.
The casino opened in 1979 and is known to be the nation’s first large-stakes bingo hall.