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Rodents blamed for massive Paris Las Vegas power outage, safety questions remain

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 02:14:17-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE: 10 P.M.: Investigators are blaming rodents for interfering with some energy equipment that sent the Paris hotel-casino into darkness Thursday night but the incident has raised additional safety questions.

Video from inside the property showed the usually vibrant property in darkness as people got around by flashlight.

"You can hear people in the elevators, screaming, 'get me out of here,' I would be too if I was stuck in an elevator for an hour," said Ruthie Como, in a video she narrated and posted to Twitter.

The Clark County Fire Department rescued people stuck inside six separate elevators.

One person at the property was taken to the hospital for breathing troubles.

Las Vegas police evacuated the casino floor while the people staying in the hotel stayed put.

"What concerns me most is why the backup power wasn't on," said Doña Olds, a hotel guest.

Olds and her husband were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, which actually occurred in August, but a trip to Las Vegas was delayed by the pandemic.

The couple says nothing worked in their 22nd-floor hotel room.

"We waited a few minutes, but we went out the door just assuming the exit lights would be lit, nothing was lit. We had no emergency power, we had no filtration system, we also had no water. That was the next thing that we noticed," Olds said.

Olds uses a cane for mobility after suffering a recent stroke and worries what would have happened if she needed to leave in case of a life-threatening emergency, such as a fire.

"About an hour after the lights went off, they came over the intercom, but the intercom wasn't working as well. We heard some kind of little siren that sounded like there might be a fire, and maybe three or maybe four words of an announcement that we didn't hear," added Olds.

"The young lady downstairs, when I called the front desk, she said 'oh, well just walk down," said Olds.

"I'd like to see her walk down 22 flights of stairs on a cane with no lights, nothing," she said.

The power was restored about two hours later but Olds says some things, like the elevators, were slow to return to service.

"Anytime you have a power outage, not only is it an inconvenience but a lot of times it can raise a lot of security and a lot of safety concerns," said Adam Coughran, an independent hotel security expert and consultant.

Coughran suspects the property has launched an internal investigation and external authorities may launch their own inquiry into the power failure.

"Why didn't the backup systems come on, why didn't certain fail-safes operate, were they too affected, or was it something completely different that we may also need to address," explained Coughran.

13 Investigates inquired with Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of the Paris Las Vegas, as well as with Clark County fire with similar questions but a response was not made after business hours Friday.

In 2016, the same property suffered a 20-hour power outage which impacted 3,000 guests and the casino floor.

A construction crew was blamed for that incident.

ORIGINAL STORY

A power outage at a Las Vegas Strip resort Thursday night was caused by rodents.

Friday, NV Energy confirmed the cause of the outage at the Paris Las Vegas resort was a rodent getting into transfer switch equipment.

The entire incident started just after 7 p.m. Thursday with multiple reports on social media showing a dark casino floor, hotel hallways without lights, and an Eiffel Tower without its usual glow.

Power outage forces evacuation of Paris Las Vegas casino

The Clark County Fire Department and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department assisted the property and guests during the power outage situation.

Officials said the cause of the outage was not immediately known, but the casino was evacuated as a precaution.

A hotel guest told 13 Action News that the hotel tower was completely dark during the outage and that her room did not have any air conditioning or water for almost two hours.

CCFD crews were able to rescue several guests from six separate elevators on the property with no injuries reported in those incidents but one person was transported to the hospital with difficulty breathing.

Las Vegas breaking news for Oct. 22, 2020

Hotel representatives said in an email that power was restored to the property by 9:45 p.m.

A spokesperson for Caesars Entertainment also released the following statement:

“This evening, Paris Las Vegas experienced a power outage that has since been restored. The health and safety of our guests and team members is a top priority, and we thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Clark County Fire Department, and NV Energy for their assistance in the matter.”

Clark County fire said 41 personnel responded to the scene Thursday night.