​Explosion At Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center

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June 20, 2012

An explosion at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center caused the evacuation of more than 5,000 guests overnight, but no injuries were reported.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery was among those attending a conference in Nashville and was forced to evacuate.

Montgomery and his wife, Karen, were staying at the resort for the National Sheriffs Association’s annual meeting when the explosion happened Tuesday night.

No injuries were reported after the blast, which led to the evacuation of about 5,000 people.

The hotel sits next to the Grand Ole Opry House in the heart of Nashville’s country music scene.

Capt. Ken Walburn of the Nashville Fire Department says the explosion was reported around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday evening and guests were allowed back into the hotel around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Walburn said it appeared there was a gas leak ignited in a mechanical room in the convention part of the hotel. He said no hotel guest rooms were affected, but it caused significant damage to an escalator, walls and the ceiling.

Hundreds of sheriffs from around the country were staying at the convention center for the 2012 National Sheriffs Association. Walburn says investigators ruled out any suspicious activity.