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Canada's cricket team evacuated from hotel

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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Members of the Canadian cricket team were evacuated from their Trinidad hotel Wednesday after leaking gas caused a blast.
Players from South Africa, Pakistan and Ireland were also evacuated.

Three staffers at the Hilton Hotel reportedly were taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital with undisclosed injuries. None of the players or team officials were injured, hotel staff said.

“Shortly after the blast, which occurred on the eighth floor of the hotel at about 8 a.m, all guests were evacuated,” Cricket South Africa media liaison officer Gordon Templeton said in a statement.

“It is unclear as to what caused the blast but the entire team is safe and calm has returned to the hotel.”
Guests were allowed to return to their rooms around 41/2 hours after the evacuation.

All teams except for Pakistan decided to leave the vicinity of the hotel while police and fire crews investigated.
Peter Quammie, the hotel’s safety and security manager, said “emergency forces are trying to work out exactly what happened.”

“We’re not totally clear on the status of the emergency. We’re trying to establish that.”
The hotel was expected to release a statement later Wednesday.
Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi was oblivious to the blast until hotel staff knocked on his door.
“I have no idea what happened. I had just woken up when the security man knocked on the door and said `Get out of the room,”’ he said.

“I went back to sleep. Then he knocked again, and said `Get out of the room.’ After that, I realized something was serious. Then I did and went downstairs.”

The hotel complex comprises a high-rise tower with adjoining ground-level function rooms connected by long corridors.
All teams except for Pakistan decided to leave the vicinity of the hotel while police and fire crews investigated.
The Pakistan team’s media manager, Pervez Jamil Mir, said some of the players were having breakfast in the dining room and others were still asleep when the alarm went off.

“We were just told to vacate the premises ... because of some sort of gas leak,” he said.
Pakistan had no scheduled practice Wednesday, he said, but the evacuation was a disruption to the players in their buildup to the World Cup.

Canada and Ireland play in a warmup match Thursday with South Africa playing Pakistan on Friday.
The March 13-April 28 World Cup features 16 teams in venues scattered around nine countries of the Caribbean.
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