Six people were hospitalized and 20 others treated for minor injuries after a tank ruptured in the ceiling at Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood Monday morning, officials said.
The incident happened shortly before 10 a.m. at the casino at 4150 N. State Road 7.
Fire rescue crews responded and could be seen attending to the victims outside the casino entrance.
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Seminole Tribe spokesman Gary Bitner initially said a mechanical unit had fallen through the roof and into the building. He later said that a contractor was testing and re-certifying the casino’s fire suppression system when a gas tank that's part of the system ruptured. It's a sophisticated system that essentially replaces the air in the room with non-flammable gas in order to put out a fire.
“They were essentially testing this, had reconnected hoses and it was one of those that ruptured and then the gas from actually three of the tanks blew out and is what caused all the damage," Bitner said.
Four of the six who were hospitalized were treated and released later Monday. None of the injuries were life-threatening, Bitner said.
The casino reopened at around 8:30 p.m.
One of the people who had been in the casino took video that showed what it looked like inside right after what they described as an "explosion" that blew out a section of the wall and sent debris flying. Raynier Hernandez said some of the debris fell on him but he wasn’t hurt.
“Everybody get up and started running," Hernandez said. “There was a big explosion on the wall and the something it got all dark and getting all the fiber from the wall."
Investigators are looking into the exact cause of the incident.
No other information was immediately known.