A gas leak was named as a possible cause of the explosion

At least 21 people were injured in a suspected gas explosion at a Texas hotel, the Fort Worth Fire Department (FWFD) said. One person was initially reported as missing, but has since been located. 

According to officials, they received calls about a “type of explosion” inside the Sandman Signature hotel in downtown Fort Worth shortly after 3:30 pm local time. At least two floors of the building’s facade were blown out onto the street and into a parking lot, local media said.

FWFD spokesman Craig Trojacek told reporters that, although a gas leak has occurred, it is too early to say if it has led to the blast. 

“There is a smell of gas here in downtown. We’re not sure if the smell of gas was caused [by] the explosion or the fire itself, or if that’s what caused the explosion,” Trojacek said. 

According to the fire department, 26 rooms were occupied at the time of the blast, and “several people were extracted from the basement that weren’t able to get out on their own.”

Three of the injured victims were working at Musume, the restaurant inside the hotel. “Luckily, Musume was closed during the time of the explosion, so we had no customers dining and limited employees working,” said Josh Babb, co-founder of Musume, as quoted by CBS Texas.

The 245-room hotel was built in 1920 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to its website. 

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