At least 14 were injured in a suspected gas explosion at the five-star Hyatt Regency hotel in central London.
The Churchill was evacuated following the blast. Five of the injured were taken to the hospital, two of which had leg wounds.
Fire officers and gas engineers ensured the scene was safe before guests were allowed back into the hotel. Another nine people that sustained injuries were treated at the scene.
The explosion at the hotel’s basement, according to the London Fire Brigade, causing part of the building to collapse.
About 80 firefighters were at the scene, including appliances with specialist equipment to deal with collapsed buildings. At the height of the incident, about 500 people were evacuated, according to the Fire Brigade. The hotel has more than 400 guest rooms.
No guests were harmed, but 12 employees were treated for injuries, according to a hotel spokesman. Guests were accommodated in other hotels while the damage was being assessed.
A hotel spokesman:
“Hyatt’s top priority is the safety and well-being of our guests and associates, and we are currently working to provide guests with accommodations while we evaluate whether the hotel suffered any significant damage.”
Dennis Luwer, who lives across the street from the hotel, said a hole was blown in the side of the building:
“It’s been pretty intense. We just came home and saw lots of people standing outside.
“The street has been blocked off. There is a big hole in the outer wall of the Hyatt. It’s about two meters high and a meter wide.
“There’s a metal garage door bulged out. We can see some windows at street level also blown out.”
Some of the hotel staff were treated for relatively minor injuries including a possible broken leg.