14 hurt as ‘gas blast’ rocks hotel

Published: Saturday 22nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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A top hotel has been evacuated after an explosion in the basement caused part of the building to collapse.

The Churchill Hyatt Regency hotel in Portman Square, central London, was evacuated following the suspected gas explosion at around 11.40pm yesterday and a number of people were being treated by paramedics.

Around 80 firefighters were on the scene, including appliances with specialist equipment to deal with collapsed buildings. The full extent of the damage is not known at this stage and all people were accounted for, a spokesman for London Fire Brigade said.

London Ambulance Service initially said 12 people were injured by the blast but later revised the figure to 14, 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.

Police officers were also on 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 .”

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.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said 500 people had to be evacuated from the hotel, forcing them out on to the street as a result of the explosion, thought to have been caused by a gas leak.

Structural engineers have been called to assess the damage in the basement area.

Published: Saturday 22nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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