Hollywood, Fla.’s Seminole Classic Casino saw 26 people injured at Monday morning from the rupture of an air system, local officials said. The gaming property also was damaged.
The casino was shuttered following the 9:50 AM incident. The gaming floor was scheduled to reopen at 8:30 PM Monday.
Twenty of the injured were examined onsite. They declined further medical treatment. Another six went to Hollywood’s Memorial Regional Hospital, where they were seen by physicians.
The injuries were described as “varied,” according to Seminole spokesman Gary Bitner. None were life-threatening, he added. There were no immediate details on the injuries. Both casino workers and visitors were among the injured.
There were about 100 people in the casino at the time of the rupture. The building was evacuated immediately. Impact from the compressed air blew out the wall of a second-floor equipment room. The wall overlooks the casino floor.
Insulation and drywall material fell onto the people below on the casino floor, Bitner said. Some gaming equipment experienced “very minor damage,” Bitner added.
There was a good bit of damage in the equipment room,” Bitner told Casino.org. Minor damage took place on the casino floor, too.
Staff was working on repairs following the rupture. “Clearly, lucky it wasn’t more serious,” Bitner said.
Seminole Classic Casino is one of several gaming properties operated by the tribe. It is south of the large Seminole Hard Rock Casino.
The rupture took place as the fire suppression system was getting a routine test. The system uses non-flammable gas and compressed air to spray water on flames if a fire ever breaks out.
Seminole Fire Rescue and Hollywood Fire Rescue both responded to the casino.
There was no building collapse. There was no explosion,” Hollywood city spokesperson Joann Hussey told Casino.org following the incident.
“Insulation and drywall crumbled. Fell onto first-floor casino area,” Hussey recounted. The casino floor has over 1,000 slots and many table games.
Initially Labeled As Mass Casualty
The initial call came into Hollywood’s fire department as a “mass casualty,” with a “partial building collapse,” she added.
That led the fire department to send the Hazmat team and many other units to the gaming property. But no chemicals were found at the scene.
Rupture Called Unusual
She said the fact there was a rupture, is “unusual.”
That is why Seminole officials on Monday were continuing to investigate the circumstances around the rupture.
Trying to figure out exactly why that would happen,” Hussey said about the continuing inquiry. They also want to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
Firefighters from Hollywood routinely train with casino staff to prepare for any emergencies. That preparation helped the response in Monday’s incident, officials said.
Hollywood is located on the Atlantic Ocean between Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
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