Explosion in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, leaves at least 11 injured
Jan 8, 2024, 5:29 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
(CNN) — An explosion in Fort Worth, Texas, Monday left multiple people injured and large pieces of a building littering the road in the heart of the city’s downtown area.
At least 11 people were injured in the blast that happened at the Sandman Signature Fort Worth Downtown Hotel, according to Craig Trojacek, a spokesperson for the Fort Worth Fire Department. One person was unaccounted for, he said. The hotel is located near both city hall and the city’s convention center.
A spokesperson for MedStar, which provides emergency medical services and operates ambulances in the area, told reporters there was one person with critical injuries, two were in serious condition and others had minor injuries.
There was a gas smell in the area but Trojacek said they have not confirmed a gas leak led to the explosion or whether the odor was a result of something damaged in the blast. He said there were reports the explosion may have happened in a restaurant where some construction was underway, but “we’re not 100% sure that that’s where it actually started.”
A woman at The Ashton Hotel, which is about a block away from the blast, said it sounded like a huge firework went off.
“We heard the noise,” Cheila Sanchez told CNN. “It moved the hotel. I was like, ‘Whoa, what happened?’ Just heard this loud ‘boom!’ I didn’t know exactly what happened.”,
Sanchez said she thinks she heard the explosion around 3:20 p.m. local time.
“It sounded like a firework, but it was louder,” Sanchez said. “There was only one boom.”
An image from CNN affiliate WFAA shows debris in the street outside the building. It appeared sections of the building’s façade had been ripped off in the blast.
Fort Worth Chief Communications Officer Reyne Telles told CNN, “There was an explosion in downtown” and “there was a plume of smoke seen higher than the high rises.”
There is debris scattered in the area of city hall, according to Telles.
“We are currently working a Major Incident. Please avoid the downtown area,” the Fort Worth Police Department said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “PIOs are on scene. We will share more details as soon as we can confirm more information.”
Another witness reported seeing people coming out of the hotel with bloody faces and seeing people on gurneys following the explosion, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Witnesses told the paper they had family members in the hotel, and that they were injured.
Barbara Jacobs, 58, told the newspaper she normally walks past the building on her way home to an apartment building nearby but “something told her not to.”
“When I heard the boom I was in the middle of the street,” she told the paper. “To see it firsthand, oh my God, it was the scariest thing I ever seen.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.
CNN’s Sarah Dewberry contributed to this report.