(USNewsBreak.com) – The Sandman Signature Hotel is a historic Fort Worth, Texas landmark. In 1979, the National Register of Historic Places added the building, built in 1920, to the registry. Part of the building was under construction, and when a blast rocked the hotel earlier this week, it led to widespread speculation.
On Monday, January 8, a massive explosion occurred at “The Waggoner Building,” as locals know the hotel. In the aftermath, more than 20 people suffered injuries, some listed in critical and serious condition. The scene was reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, where the street became littered with debris and smoke everywhere. Speaking with The Associated Press, 31-year-old Charlie Collier, who was working nearby, noted that “There was insulation. There was office furniture” on the streets. Indeed, video footage of the scene showed shattered glass, drywall, and mangled metal in the area surrounding the blast.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 8, 2024
Authorities believe a gas leak may have sparked the explosion, but the incident is currently under investigation. Rescue workers worked late into the day to determine whether anyone else was missing and to carry out rescue operations as needed. Fort Worth Fire Department spokesperson Craig Trojacek said the first responders had received reports of people possibly trapped in the basement, but the conditions rendered it unsafe to access that area. Atmos Energy technicians were also reviewing the blast scene, as was an agency inspector from the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s gas and oil regulator.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) released a statement saying he was aware of the incident and remained in contact with local officials. He further said the state is ready to “immediately deploy any additional personnel and resources needed” to help keep residents in the blast area safe.
It could be several weeks or months before answers are available, though officials have shut down rumors of any terrorist involvement.
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