Tulsa County Sheriff, Undersheriff Evacuated After Opryland Explosion

Wednesday, June 20th 2012, 9:33 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz and Undersheriff Tim Albin were among law enforcement officials attending a conference in Nashville Tuesday when an explosion forced the evacuation of their hotel.

Both men, along with several other members of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, were staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center for the National Sheriffs Association's annual meeting when the explosion happened Tuesday night.

Undersheriff Tim Albin says he was one floor up from the explosion at a reception hosted by the director of ICE.

Albin says the force of the explosion lifted the floor up six inches.  With all the immigration issues in the news recently, their first thought was someone was bombing the reception.

He says because of the damage to the convention center and meeting rooms, it looks like the rest of the conference will be canceled.

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

Nashville Fire officials say it appears a gas leak ignited in a mechanical room.

Officials say no hotel guest rooms were affected, but the explosion caused significant damage to an escalator, walls and the ceiling.

Fire investigators have ruled out any suspicious activity.

Keep checking here for new developments in this story, and News On 6 viewers can watch anchor Lori Fullbright's report on News On 6 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.