Hotel given all clear after partial wall collapse
Published Sunday, July 20, 2014 12:15PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, July 20, 2014 6:28PM MDT
Edmonton’s Westin hotel will re-open Monday after a partial wall collapse over the weekend.
About 250 guests were moved after a portion of the exterior wall collapsed on the building’s southside.
Fire crews were called out just before 10 a.m. Sunday to 10135 100th Street.
Two guests of the hotel told CTV News they felt a shudder but did not think anything of it.
“We were waiting in our room and kind of felt something weird but didn’t think anything of it and went for breakfast,” Kaleigh McLellan explained.
The couple, originally from Calgary, said they were now stranded in the city.
“We’re trapped. We can’t get our car out of the parking lot.”
The parking lot of the building has been cordoned off as crews assess the situation.
“The potential for something to go wrong is just too high to even risk allowing people to take their vehicles,” district chief Randy Shakura said.
“Any time you have a collapse you just don’t know how bad it can get so we are going to err on the side of caution.”
He estimated the hole in the wall was about 20 feet high and covered an area about 100 feet across.
Shakura said they called in structural engineers to come and access the building.
“Any time you have a collapse there is always a potential for further collapse.
“At this point we don’t have any injuries at all and we’d like to keep it that way.”
One couple who were staying at the hotel said they had just started their honeymoon.
Ilia Biziaev said he and his new wife, Denise, made a last minute decision to stay there following their nuptials Saturday.
“We had some family stay at the house so we were just like ‘I don’t want to spend the first night with everybody there’,” he explained.
The couple had been staying on the 12th floor and were startled when a fire fighter told them to get out of the building.
“It’s kind of frightening when there is an axe slamming on your door,” Ilia laughed.
However, the couple was able to gather all their belongings and will continue on their celebration.
Barb Hutton said she returned from A Taste of Edmonton to find emergency crews outside the hotel.
“We can’t get up to our room so we will just find something else to do for a while,” she said adding that she would be catching her flight back to Winnipeg with or without her luggage.
“There is nothing you can do about it.”
Streets around the hotel, including 100 Street and 99 Street, were blocked off north of Jasper Avenue for most of the day.
The hotel issued a media statement that indicated they would be re-opening Monday.
“The Westin Edmonton has been given the all clear from City of Edmonton officials to re-open tomorrow following this morning’s incident in which a portion of an exterior wall collapsed,” the statement read.
“The Hotel team will continue to work with local authorities and would like to express its sincere thanks for the assistance from the Fire and Police Departments along with City Officials. Providing a safe environment is the essence of our business.”
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith