MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A gas leak in an alley behind the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables on Saturday not only prompted evacuations, but also forced to weddings to relocate.
Saturday around noon a crew working on a fiber optics line behind the hotel, at 180 Aragon Avenue, hit a gas line.
Police evacuated the hotel and limited access to the area until the line can be repaired.
“All of a sudden we see police officers come in and the alarms are going off and we are told hey we have to evacuate the building,” said Vitto Mena who left the Colonnade.
“We did evacuate the Colonnade Hotel and other businesses in the surrounding area just because of the high explosion hazard,” said Coral Gables Fire Battalion Chief Carla Rossby. “Turns out it’s a four inch gas line, it’s a substantial leak.”
The odor of gas could be smelled for blocks away and a section of Ponce de Leon was closed to traffic.
“They tried to come in, but they couldn’t because all of the streets were closed,” said Julio Fernandez, owner of Spris Pizza.
Fernandez said his restaurant is usually booming on Saturday but because of the leak business was down considerably.
“A lot of people normally come for the ‘Beat the Clock Special’ to get our five dollar pizzas,” said Fernandez who estimated he lost between two and three thousand dollars.
Meanwhile, two wedding parties scheduled at the Westin had to be relocated with just a few hours notice.
“I was actually really calm. Mother was out of her mind. Bridesmaids were out of their minds. The maid of honor was out of control,” said Yannery Cordano. “I was okay because I had faith everything was going to work out.”
And it did. Cordano got married at the Biltmore Resort.
By early evening the gas line had been repaired and the Westin’s guests were allowed to return to their rooms.