Thousands were evacuated in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday night after an explosion at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center -- where hundreds of the country's sheriffs are attending a conference.

The blast occurred in a mechanical room at the convention center at around 8:30pm local time, WSMV-TV reported, adding that no injuries had been reported.

The convention center suffered significant damage from the blast and a Nashville Fire Department spokesperson told the station there was a smell of natural gas in the area.

Around 500 sheriffs are attending the 2012 National Sheriff's Association conference at the convention center.