Explosion Rocks Texas Hotel

A hotel in Fort Worth, Texas faced serious damage following an explosion Monday. The blast injured 21 people and sparked both concern about further damage and dramatic footage of glass and debris strewn across the city’s streets.

Investigators believe that a fuel leak likely caused the explosion that affected the Sandman Hotel. First responders cleared the area around the downtown hotel.

Of those injured, four are seriously wounded and one is listed in critical condition. A total of 14 people entered local hospitals after the incident.

While the initial investigation believes that the explosion was caused by a gas leak, the Fort Worth Fire Department will be conducting a more thorough probe. Some on the scene reported smelling natural gas. Fire department officials said that there was nearby construction when the blast happened.

Photos of the incident show damage around the outside of the building. There is also a large hole in the sidewalk near the hotel, as well.

At least two floors of the structure were seriously damaged by the blast occurring around 3:30 p.m. local time Monday. Law enforcement blocked off two blocks near the site of the explosion.

At the time of the explosion, 26 of the hotel’s rooms were occupied. Following a search of the building, there were no additional injured persons due to the blast.

City officials said that the building’s stability would be further assessed in the next stage of the recovery effort.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wrote that the state was in close contact with the local mayor and sheriff and that the state would “assist with emergency response efforts following the tragic explosion at the Sandman Hotel.”

“We continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to immediately deploy any additional personnel and resources needed to keep Texans in the area safe and out of harm’s way. Cecilia and I ask all Texans to pray for those who were injured in the explosion, as well as those bravely responding to keep others safe,” the governor said.

One person who was reported missing following the blast was subsequently located.