Gas explosion at Opryland Hotel forces evacuation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Officials in Nashville say a gas explosion at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center caused the evacuation of over 5,000 guests overnight, but no injuries were reported.

Capt. Ken Walburn of the Nashville Fire Department said the explosion was reported around 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday evening and guests were allowed back into the hotel around 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

Walburn said it appeared there was a gas leak ignited in a mechanical room in the convention part of the hotel. He said no hotel guest rooms were affected, but it caused significant damage to an escalator, walls and the ceiling.

Hundreds of sheriffs from around the country were staying at the convention center for the 2012 National Sheriffs Association. Walburn said investigators ruled out any suspicious activity.

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