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London hotel blast injures 14

24 November 2014

An explosion at the Churchill Hyatt Regency hotel in Portman Square, central London, caused part of the building to collapse, injuring 14 and leading to the evacuation of 500 guests. The blast, late on the night of November 21, is thought to have happened in the hotel’s basement kitchens and has left a large hole in the side wall. 

London Fire Brigade said initial reports were that the blast had been caused by a gas leak. Around 80 firefighters were on the scene at the height of the incident, including appliances with specialist equipment to deal with collapsed buildings.

London Ambulance Service said 14 people were injured, with five hospitalised and the rest checked over at the scene. A hotel spokesman said that no guests were harmed and they were accommodated in other hotels nearby while the damage was being assessed.

A spokesman for the hotel said: "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."

Workers from the National Grid were on site at the hotel on November 22, trying to pinpoint the cause of the blast. London Fire Brigade is carrying out its own investigation into the explosion.

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