14 injured in London hotel gas explosion
Around 500 guests evacuated from Churchill Hyatt Regency after part of building collapses
Around 500 guests were evacuated from a top hotel after a gas explosion in the basement caused part of the building to collapse, injuring 14 people.
The Churchill Hyatt Regency hotel in Portman Square, central London, was evacuated following the explosion at around 11.40pm (local time) on Friday and a number of people were being treated by paramedics.
Around 80 firefighters were on the scene at the height of the incident, including appliances with specialist equipment to deal with collapsed buildings. The full extent of the damage was not immediately clear and all people were accounted for, a spokesman for the London fire brigade said.
London Ambulance Service said 14 people were injured, including two men with leg wounds who were taken to nearby St Mary’s hospital.
A further three people needed hospital treatment, while nine others were checked over at the scene and given the all-clear.
A spokesman for the hotel told local TV channel ITV no guests were harmed and could be relocated until the damage was assessed.
It said: “Hyatt Regency Churchill in London experienced a gas explosion in the basement early this morning.
“Twelve Hyatt associates were treated for injuries.
“No guests were injured, and all guests were evacuated to nearby hotels. Hyatt’s top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our guests and associates, and we are currently working to provide guests with accommodations while we evaluate whether the hotel suffered any significant damage.”
Police officers were also called to the scene and a Metropolitan police spokesman said: “At about 11.40pm we were called to a suspected gas explosion at Portman Square. Officers are in attendance alongside the fire brigade and ambulance service. A small number of injured parties are being treated .”
The London fire brigade later tweeted there had been “extensive damage caused to the basement”.
The five-star hotel, in the Marylebone area, features 434 guest rooms.
Structural engineers were called to assess the damage in the basement area. The fire brigade said an internal wall or ceiling may have collapsed.