On Monday morning, an explosion hit Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood during a fire suppression system servicing. The explosion left 26 people injured, as told by spokesmen from both the Seminole Tribe and Hollywood Fire Rescue. Thankfully, Hollywood Fire Rescue stated that all of the injuries were minor. Six were taken to the Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, while 20 were treated on site. Both the Seminole Tribe and Hollywood Fire Rescue will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion and during this period, the casino will remain closed.
Casino Temporarily Closed
The casino is located at 4150 N. State Rd. 7, near the famous, guitar-shaped Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Seminole Casino Hollywood opened its doors as a bingo hall in 1970. Gary Bitner, a spokesman for the Seminole Tribe, stated that the staff was making a regular six-month maintenance service of a fire suppression system on the second floor of the casino that uses non-flammable compressed gas in the event a fire breaks out.
Bitner explained, “[Employees] were in the process of [reconnecting the system], had finished and reconnected the hoses to the system, when one of them ruptured and caused three of the tanks to instantly empty. Pieces of it, actually, combusted, and it pushed other items around in the area where it was, because it was powerful.”
The good news is that the area where the maintenance service was taking place was closed to the public, but it is over a casino area. Hollywood Fire Rescue added that the cause of the injuries to some of the people was the drywall which shot its way from the second floor to the first when the explosion occurred. According to Bitner’s estimations, there were around 100 people in the building at the time of the accident.
The casino had reopened by 8:30 PM last night.
The Seminole Tribe Has Been Busy in Florida
The Seminole Tribe has been facing some problems on multiple fronts. One of those fronts is a fight with Magic City Casino, which filed a lawsuit against the state’s gaming compact. The tribe submitted its documents to try and get the case dismissed with the argument that even though it is an indispensable party in the lawsuit and it is obliged to respond, it cannot be forced to participate as it is a federally designated tribe, as well as a sovereign nation.
Florida lawmakers approved the Seminole Tribe gaming compact in May. However, due to the fact that the case is extremely complicated, there will be no easy outcome. If the requested dismissal by the Seminole Tribe is rejected, then it is likely this battle will last a long time.