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Guests Remain Intact After The New York Hilton's Basement Explodes

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June 14, 2012 at 9:02 AM | by | ()

Noticed any weirdness at the Hilton New York yesterday afternoon? Maybe you heard some strange sounds, or the lights went out, or maybe you got trapped in an elevator? No, that wasn't paranormal activity (you'll need to head to the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City for that sort of thing)—the hotel was simply on fire.

The NY Post reports that three workers were fixing some equipment in the electrical closet in the hotel's basement when the equipment exploded, sending rumbles up through the lobby and the meeting rooms.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured, including the workers, who emerged from the building with just a few minor burns. However, dozens of guests were evacuated from the business center in the hotel's basement, and when the hotel subsequently lost power, several got trapped in the elevators.

As most of us know, the Hilton New York is frickin' huge, so huge that many top-floor guests didn't even know what was happening. Meanwhile, lower-floor guests came out of their rooms in a panic, and weren't allowed back in until early evening.

In a city where anxiety and neurosis never truly subside, disaster often tends to feel imminent, but an exploding basement is pretty much the last thing you want to happen in a giant 47-story hotel. Unsurprisingly, guests were a little unnerved:

"'I heard an explosion, but it sounded electrical,' said Rob O’Reilly, a Virginia resident. 'Then after that, there were four or five explosions. No one knew what was going on. We all got under the table.

'I didn’t panic, but there was definitely unease.'

Guests said lower four floors of the hotel seemed to have been affected most, and that there were no problem in the upper reaches of the 47-story building. 'Some floors are perfectly fine. It’s like nothing happened -- like you're not in the same hotel,' said guest Lindsey Houser. 'My floor, the fourth floor – it’s like a ghost town.'"

Finally, things settled back to normal, and guests were able to go back to enjoying their $399/night, Green Street-awarded, 2,000+ room hotel. Hopefully, the only rumblings they felt after that came from the subway.

[Photo: Dick Johnson / Flickr]

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