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Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood reopens after blast toppled drywall;  6 hospitalized – WSVN 7News |  Miami News, Weather, Sports


HOLLYWOOD, FL. (WSVN) – Hollywood’s Seminole Classic Casino reopened about 10 hours after, officials said, an explosion caused part of the drywall to collapse, injuring more than two dozen people and sending six of them in the hospital.

7News cameras captured the entrance to the casino, located at 4150 N State Road 7, open to the public again on Monday night.

“We reopened at 8:30 am, and people came back over there to have fun,” said Gary Bitner, spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe in Florida.

Just before 10 a.m., however, it was a chaotic scene inside the casino.

Video from the cell phone captured a hole in the wall near some slot machines and debris strewn on the floor.

“A big explosion, and everyone got out and started running,” witness Rainier Hernandez said.

“It turned black as smoke, removing all the fiber from the walls. I don’t even know what it is, ”said another witness.

“Like a big bomb, like a bomb went off,” said a woman standing near where the drywall fell.

Hollywood fire rescue units responded around 10:30 a.m.

Officials from the Seminole Tribe, which owns the casino, said workers appear to be performing semi-annual maintenance on a fire extinguisher system behind the drywall.

“They were doing it, had finished and reconnected the hoses to the system, when one of them ruptured and caused three of the tanks to instantly drain,” Bitner said. “Actually, pieces of it burned down and pushed other objects into the area they were in because they were powerful.”

The building was evacuated.

Twenty patients were treated for minor injuries at the scene and six people were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.

“There were six people transported, there were 20 people who refused the transport, it’s a combination of employees and guests who were here at the time,” Bitner said. “There were about 100 people between employees and guests here when this happened.”

7SkyForce hovered over the scene as first responders treated the victims.

“Lots of fiberglass in my body and stuff,” Hernandez said.

“I was close, so I was checked by paramedics, and I’m going home,” the woman said. “Everything seems under control. “

7News cameras captured paramedics as they took one of the patients to hospital.

One of the victims suffered a head injury which was not considered life threatening. No serious injuries were reported.

As of Monday afternoon, four of the six people taken to hospital had already been released.

Bitner said the drywall has since been repaired.

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