On 8 January 2024, the Sandman Signature Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, US was the site of an explosion due to a suspected gas leak.
A staff member reportedly informed the hotel’s management of a smell of gas an hour before the explosion, and was injured and hospitalised after the blast.
The staff member has now brought a Dallas County lawsuit against Sandman Signature Fort Worth Hotel and parent company Sandman Management, claiming gross negligence. Ten other plaintiffs have since filed an additional lawsuit.
The law firm representing the plaintiff has now hired a cause and origin investigator and filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the removal of debris for investigation.
The building holds an “historic” designation from the city of Fort Worth and is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
According to the Fort Worth Report, the main structural damage is from the street-level concrete floor’s collapse into the basement, where the hotel’s restaurant is located. The rest of the damage was mostly to windows and doors, with some also caused on the surrounding street.
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The hotel is owned by Vancouver-based hospitality group Northland Properties. The group told Hotel Management Network: “Our primary focus remains supporting those who have been impacted, as well as the safety and well-being of our team members, guests, and the Fort Worth community. We are cooperating with officials as they continue to investigate and determine the cause of the explosion.”
Other hotels in the area are providing for displaced guests. Northland stated: “We are extremely grateful to our neighbors in Downtown Fort Worth for their strong sense of community spirit. We would also like to thank the first responders, local officials, the city and council, and the state for their support.”
Fort Worth is a popular location for hotel projects, with a 2022 report finding that the area ranked within the top 20 nationally for the number of hotels in the pipeline.