Vegas Casino Evacuated After Smoke Smell Spreads Through Hotel

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(Photo: AP Images / Jae C. Hong)Tourists walk past the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007.

A Vegas casino has been evacuated after an overheated ventilation motor caused a strong smoke smell to spread throughout the venue in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The incident took place at the Las Vegas Excalibur Casino. MGM resorts spokesman, Gordon Absher, reported that hotel employees were evacuated from one of the Las Vegas Strip casino's four towers when alarms went off at about 2 a.m. local time.

Guests and staff were evacuated for a period of two hours before being let back into the building.

Absher confirmed that there was no actual fire involved in the incident, but that the strong smoke smell spread fast throughout the 28 floor building because it started in the ventilation system.

According to The Associated Press the ventilation motor was fixed by Tuesday afternoon.

Absher also announced, "As far as compensation, we will handle this in the normal course of delivering our good customer service. We'll deal with this on a case by case basis."

One guest told AP that they had been offered a refund on hotel room charges as well as given a free buffet meal by the hotel management.

Despite the panic, management at the hotel have pointed out that Las Vegas casinos have implemented some of the most advanced fire prevention systems in the world, and that hotel residents in this case were in no danger

More than 30 years ago two high rise hotel fires in Las Vegas sparked a change in fire codes in the city. In one of those incidents in 1980 more than 80 people were killed by a fire at the MGM Grand hotel. Now all Vegas hotels must adhere strictly to some of the most stringent fire rules in the world.