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Opryland Hotel Evacuated after Gas Explosion, No Injuries Reported

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The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville was evacuated Tuesday night after an explosion rocked part of the building.

The explosion happened in a mechanical room near the Delta section of the hotel at 8:30 p.m.  The National Sheriff's association is holding its annual conference at the hotel.  Incoming President, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson, told a Nashville TV station that the damage to part of the building is serious.

Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning was in attendance. Dorning said he and his wife were in their hotel room, when they heard a loud noise.

"From the time it went boom, you could see it move," describes Dorning. "It was just a split second."

Dorning said alarms immediately went off and the evacuation process started.

"When it happened, everybody remained pretty calm," says Dorning. "It was absolutely a miracle that somebody didn't get severely injured."

Dekalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris, who was also nearby when this took place, says many of the classes were held in the conference center where the explosion occurred. He's grateful the situation ended the way it did.

"If it would have been during the day when everybody was over there, there could have been some injuries," says Harris.

Fire officials say it was a mechanical problem, and terrorism was ruled out.

Guests were allowed to return to their rooms around 3:30 a.m.  Guests were taken to the Grand Ole Opry house and served refreshments.  Others found alternate lodging arrangements.