CBS News

Thousands evacuated from Las Vegas casino after power outage

CBS News

Thousands of guests and employees were evacuated Thursday from a big hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip due to a power outage that lasted hours.

The entire Paris Las Vegas lost power at about 9:45 a.m. when a contractor working in the basement cut into the main power line, Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said.

No injuries were reported, but Welling said fire crews had to rescue 11 people who were trapped in five different elevators at the hotel owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Rich Broome, the company's executive vice president, said full restoration of power was expected sometime Thursday but he was not sure when. It remained out late Thursday afternoon.

"We're trying to keep people out of the casinos because it's pitch black in there," Broome told reporters at a noon briefing.

According to Broome, the fire alarm systems were not working properly due to low battery power creating safety concerns, CBS affiliate KLAS reports .

The evacuation impacted employees as well as around 3,000 guests.

He said the hotel is looking at other options for the guests should the outage continue. Guests are being told to go to Bally's front desk if they would like to be reassigned to a different property. Guests are also being encouraged to spend time at Planet Hollywood while they wait to get back into their rooms.

"We're as unhappy about this situation as they are," said Broome. "We're going to work closely with our customers to make sure they are not harmed financially because of this event."

The outage was reported at 9:45 a.m. at the Strip hotel which is located at 3655 Las Vegas Boulevard. The outage was caused when a power line was cut during onsite construction.

Firefighters did have to rescue 11 people trapped in 5 stopped elevators.

Crews are working to restore the power.

Broome said it's expected the power will be restored today, but there is no timeline.

Some evacuations began immediately after the outage was reported. Welling said the approximately 3,000 people who remained in the building were told to leave Thursday afternoon because the battery power was running low on the building's fire alarm system.

Most of the guests were being sent to neighboring hotels, including Bally's and Planet Hollywood.

Jay Sarno of Santa Fe Springs, California told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he won more than $1,000 on a Keno machine just before the power went out.

Sarno said the casino gave him a voucher to claim his money after power is restored. He said members of his traveling group had to walk up 18 flights of stairs in the dark to retrieve belongings before fire officials ushered them outside.