Damage from an explosion Tuesday at the Gaylord Opryland hotel caused by a crack in the heating system is estimated at $750,000.
More than 5,000 people, including hundreds sheriffs who were attending a national conference, were evacuated after a gas leak caused a blast in the mechanical room of the hotel around 8:15 p.m.
According to Metro police spokesman Don Aaron, natural gas got into a steam line in the mechanical room. No foul play is suspected, said investigators.
One person suffered a hurt ankle during the evacuation, but no other injuries were reported.
A spokesperson for Gaylord said the explosion was located near the Ryman exhibit hall in the convention center.
"It was a loud boom. The whole building shook, and as a matter of fact, it felt like an earthquake," said witness Tom Reyes, of California. "I look out the window, and there's pipes swayed horizontally across the atrium. They were swaying back and forth."
Reyes said he and other hotel guests did not smell natural gas at the time of the explosion. He said they began smelling the gas about an hour after the blast as they were waiting in the parking lot.
Approximately 500 of the country's sheriffs were attending the 2012 National Sheriffs Association conference at the convention center. Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall was among the guests attending a reception at the time of the blast.
"The concussion coming from the explosion was something that I've never felt before. It was a pretty alarming thing to happen in the location where we were in, and then debris starts falling, the ceiling tiles, where we were," Hall said. "Clearly, from the debris that was falling, from that you didn't know where or what caused it. And you could imagine the alarm when you've got federal government officials from D.C. here."
Hotel guests were bused to other locations while structural engineers examined the damage. Other guests spent the night at the Grand Ole Opry and Convention Center and some camped out in their lawn chairs and cars.
During the evacuation, hotel employees provided guests with sandwiches, food and water.
Guests were finally allowed to return to the hotel at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday. According to a hotel spokesperson, all fees will be waived for the night.
Gaylord CEO Colin V. Reed released the following statement:
"First and foremost, what is important is that no one was hurt as a result of this incident. I want to commend the efforts of the Nashville Fire Department, Nashville Police Department, and our (employees) for their swift response that ensured that the issue was assessed as quickly as possible and that all guests were safely evacuated. At this stage we can now focus on returning to business as usual and repairing the impacted areas of the properly with minimal disruption to our guests."
Initial estimates of the damages are less than $750,000. Repairs are being assessed and plans for repairs are underway.
A news release from Gaylord Wednesday morning said that initial assessments "suggest the impact will not be material and will have little to no effect on upcoming meetings and events." The hotel and restaurants resumed normal operations at 7 a.m.
The Delta area, where the incident occurred, is blocked off to all traffic while clean up and repairs are conducted, said Gaylord public relations director Jenny Barker.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:23:41 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service said there is a moderate risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:27 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:27:31 GMT
Students are calling the death of a Harrisonville teen a rude awakening. Troopers said 16-year-old Savannah Nash pulled in front of a semi Thursday at Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. Savannah wasMore >
The deadly accident near Harrisonville is an opportunity for parents to talk to their teens about texting and driving, but now several smartphone companies have created apps that could put a stop to some of the dangerous behavior.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:57 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:57:19 GMT
It can be a little disconcerting spotting a wild animal in your backyard, but it's happening more and more lately. People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes – something that'sMore >
People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes - something that's becoming so common the city is offering advice on how to avoid them.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:04:56 GMT
One child was sent to the hospital when a go-cart they were riding in collided with an SUV Saturday afternoon. Police said the wreck happened about 2:30 p.m. in the area of 55th Street and Cambridge Avenue.More >
Two children were sent to the hospital when a go-cart they were riding in collided with an SUV on Saturday afternoon.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:38:11 GMT
It's the largest Powerball jackpot in history and Saturday night everyone's talking about the record $600 million prize. Locally, a Dearborn couple made Powerball history in November by winning half ofMore >
It's the largest Powerball jackpot in history, and Saturday night everyone's talking about the record $600 million prize.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
Imagine suffering a medical emergency in a foreign country, half a world away. It happened to a man from Overland Park, KS, in Japan. Now, his family is trying to come up with a way to get him home whereMore >
An Overland Park family is trying to raise enough money to get their son back to the U.S. from Japan after he suffered a massive stroke in the other country.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:55:42 GMT
It's a game of skill and chance and the best part is it was designed by two Kansas City natives. Now they're hoping their early success pays off. It may look like just a game, but to Ryan Drews and MaxMore >
A local group of friends have created a new board game they hope to have on store shelves soon. The game's goal is to grow a city and defeat your enemies.More >