A bride and groom had their wedding day ruined after a gas leak at the Crowne Plaza hotel Dundalk forced both them and their guests to evacuate the hotel on Saturday last.
The hotel was evacuated 7.40pm on Saturday evening as the newlyweds from Monaghan, and their guests, were in the middle of the banquet.
A member of staff detected a smell of gas and told the duty manager.
The duty manager then contacted An Bord Gais and Dundalk fire brigade who instructed management to evacuate the hotel.
Dundalk Fire Brigade was called to the scene and dealt with the emergency.
Over 280 guests were in the hotel at the time, including hotel residents, restaurant guests, and the wedding party.
The Dundalk Democrat arrived at the hotel on the night and spoke to the bride.
“We are very tired,” she said. “We are not staying at the hotel. I am waiting on my uncle to bring us home.”
A guest told the paper that the bride and groom cut the cake when the hotel re-opened,
“When we were allowed back into the hotel, the couple thanked the guests for coming,” the source said. “They cut the cake and that was it. They didn’t even have a first dance or finish the meal. It ruined their night.”
In a statement to the paper, a spokeswoman for the Crowne Plaza apologised for the inconvenience caused but highlighted that safety is paramount.
“The hotel management and team followed the hotel’s documented Full Evacuation policy and procedure,” the statement said.
“At approximately 9.40 following a thorough investigation of all areas of the hotel, the fire brigade confirmed that it was safe for the guests to return to the building.
“During the period of the evacuation the hotel organised minibuses for the hotel guests to wait in and tea / coffee to be served.
“While the hotel’s management team regret the inconvenience caused, the safety of the guests and staff was considered paramount. The hotel is now open and fully operational.”