Downtown Fort Worth explosion leaves at least 20 injured, likely caused by gas leak
At least 20 people were injured — 14 transported to local hospitals — after an explosion at a downtown Fort Worth hotel Monday afternoon, according to first responders.
Initially a spokesperson for MedStar confirmed at least one person was in critical condition and two others were in serious condition. One person was reported missing.
The Fort Worth Fire Department said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the explosion was likely caused by a gas leak but personnel were waiting for confirmation as of 6 p.m.
The explosion caused a two-alarm fire, officials said at a press briefing Monday evening.
The building was undergoing some construction at the time of the explosion, Fort Worth fire officials said.
The explosion scattered debris across the 800 block of Houston Street. Fire department photos showed widespread damage to windows in the building. Some photos show exterior walls on the first and second floor ripped off, exposing office desks and chairs.
"We are currently working a Major Incident. Please avoid the downtown area," the Fort Worth Police Department wrote on social media.
The explosion occurred at the Sandman Signature Hotel, 810 Houston St. in downtown Fort Worth.
Riley Stanford was staying at the Sinclair Hotel at 512 Main St., about three blocks away from the Sandman Signature, taking engagement photos in the bar area when she saw police cars outside the windows.
"It was nerve-racking," she said.
The Sandman Signature Hotel opened in spring last year and is in the Waggoner Building, which was completed in 1920. A restaurant on the bottom floor and was completed in May, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
The Fort Worth Fire Department and multiple other emergency responders were on scene Monday afternoon.
Jonas Amos, who works at the Fritz G Lanham Federal Building in front of the hotel, said he didn't feel the explosion but heard it.
"They made everybody evacuate, almost," he said.
As of Friday afternoon, he couldn't get to his car which was parked in a garage five blocks away and was blocked.
The fire department advised residents to avoid the area and follow #FWDowntownAlert for updated details.
A reunification area was arranged in Sundance Square at 420 Main St. for family members looking for loved ones.
"My heart and prayers are with those who were injured as we continue managing response," Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said on X.
Tarrant County Judge Tim O'Hare said in a social media post that all downtown county buildings were closed for the day "in an abundance of caution." This excluded jails, law enforcement and other necessary public safety buildings.
State lawmakers took to social media as well, including Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan.
"Horrible situation in Fort Worth," Phelan said in a post. "We are monitoring the situation closely. Heed the warnings of local officials and avoid the area."
Rep. Marc Veasey said his office was closely monitoring the situation and thanked first responders on scene.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.
Kailey Broussard and the Fort Worth Report’s Matthew Sgroi contributed to this report.
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