Explosion at Fort Worth hotel injures at least 21, officials say

An explosion at a downtown Fort Worth hotel on Monday injured nearly two dozen people.

MedStar confirms at least 21 people were injured in a building explosion at the Sandman Hotel on Houston Street and West 7th, less than half a mile from Sundance Square. 

One person is said to be in critical condition, four in serious condition, but not life-threatening, and the rest suffered minor injuries. Fort Worth Fire says that no one was killed in the explosion.

The explosion happened just after 3:30 p.m. The blast blew out windows and scattered debris across the street.

Officials believe the explosion came from a sushi restaurant inside the hotel where people were trapped when firefighters arrived on scene.

A strong smell of gas was reported in downtown Fort Worth at the time of the explosion, but officials say the exact cause is still under investigation.


"We have not made 100% determination, but we want to make it clear that this was some type of gas explosion," said Craig Trojacek, the Public Information Officer for Fort Worth Fire. "We are still working on the details of that."

Fire crews said the restaurant Musume, inside of the hotel, was undergoing construction.

A statement from the restaurant's co-founder, Josh Babb, says that the Musume was closed at the time of the explosion and that no customers were inside dining at the time of the explosion.

Three Musume employees were among the injured, according to Babb.

26 rooms were occupied at the hotel as of Monday, according to Fort Worth Fire.

14 patients were transported to local hospitals, according to officials. Another person drove themselves to the hospital.

"We didn’t see the person except being taken away, and his or her head was wrapped up, but they were sitting up," said Kathy Johnson who was in the area.

Atmos is in the area helping to turn off gas to buildings in the area.

The company says gas has been isolated to the affected area and that they will assist Fort Worth Fire and Police with their investigation.

"It appeared to me that there was an explosion underground, like the cellar area. The sidewalk was blown out. Big chunks of sidewalk in the street," said James Johnson who witnessed the explosion.

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker posted a statement on Friday afternoon saying that every Fort Worth emergency response agency is on hand to respond.

"It's heartbreaking for Downtown Fort Worth. At this point, our hearts and prayers are with the victims at area hospitals," said Mayor Parker.

Police are asking people in the area to avoid the downtown area.

Images from SKY 4 show significant damage to the area around the hotel.

Image 1 of 14


Photos sent to FOX 4 show emergency crews in the area with stretchers near Throckmorton Street.

Several people reported hearing a loud noise in the area.

ATF and FBI officials were seen at the scene along with Fort Worth police and fire.

Fort Worth police say there is a family reunification area for those involved in the Sundance Square parking lot at 200 5th Street.


Fort Worth hotel explosion: Gov. Abbott, Sen. Cruz, Mayor Parker send prayers for injured

Fort Worth MedStar confirmed at least 21 people have been injured in a building explosion at the Sandman Hotel on Houston Street and West 7th, less than half a mile from Sundance Square.

All night, Fort Worth Fire has been making multiple sweeps through the hotel to make sure everyone is accounted for and to assess the structure of the building.

During the second sweep, they did find someone trapped and helped them to safety.

Fort Worth Hotel Explosion Reaction

Video posted to social media shows several emergency vehicles with lights and sirens activated. Debris can be seen all over the street.

The person recording the video says they could smell gas shortly before the explosion.

FOX 4's Dionne Anglin interviewed a man who was staying at the hotel.

Mike Vanca was staying at the hotel but was not inside when the explosion happened. He was at a nearby office and still felt the shockwave from the explosion.

"[I was on the] seventh floor, and the building shook like someone slapped the side of it with your hand," he recalled. "So it was very loud and very violent."

Downtown Fort Worth Road Closures

Crews have closed several roads in Downtown Fort Worth on Tuesday morning while the investigation and cleanup continues.

  • Throckmorton St. closed from W 7th St. to W 9th St.
  • Houston St. closed from W 7th St. to W 9th St.
  • W 8th St. closed from Throckmorton to Main St.

Sandman Hotel in Fort Worth

The Sandman Hotel on Houston Street is a 245-room hotel that was completed in 1920, according to the hotel's website.

The building was originally built for William Thomas Waggoner, owner of the Waggoner Ranch, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Sandman Hotel Group is owned by the Canadian company Northland Properties. Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi is the company’s CEO.

The hotel was newly renovated last year.