The Tulsa County Sheriff, undersheriff, and four other deputies were among 5,000 guests that were evacuated from a Nashville hotel after an explosion Tuesday night.
Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin, and the other Tulsa County deputies were attending a week-long conference at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. Around 8:30 Tuesday evening, law enforcement officers from around the country were attending a reception hosted by ICE when the explosion happened
"I literally felt the floor raise up in our room and go back down," said Albin. "It wasn't just a little boom, it was a catastrophic explosion."
Albin said his first thought was that the building was under attack, given recent immigration events that have happened this week.
"There was a lot things going through our mind at that time," said Albin. "I thought this this was some type of political statement or some type of terrorist act."
Albin and two other deputies ran to the site of the blast.
"As soon as you realize what is happening your training kicks in," said Albin. One of the men, a bomb technician, was able to determine it wasn't an attack, but a natural gas explosion.
"It had blown through a cinder block wall," said Albin. "Steel plates were blown off the escalator and tile off of the wall."
Fire marshals determined the explosion was caused by a gas leak ignited in a mechanical room in the convention part of the hotel.
5,000 people were evacuated from the convention center, but no one was injured.
Albin said he has seen alot of things in his 24 years with the sheriff's office but he won't forget this experience any time soon.
"Yeah, its definitely in the top five," Albin said.