One of the six exit doors at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub—the location of the deadliest mass shooting in American history—was found to have been blocked by a soda machine during the venue’s most recent inspection. The Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday that the blocked exit was discovered during a May 21 visit by city inspectors. When Omar Mateen entered the nightclub on June 12, he killed 49 people and injured an additional 53. More than 300 people were inside at the time. It is unclear whether the exit was still blocked on the night of the shooting, the Sentinel reports. If it was, staff “will have to answer some tough questions,” Fire Marshall Tammy Hughes said. The last annual fire inspection was done in January and discovered no violations, Hughes said, but a “company officer exit check” was done on May 21. Lt. Brian Hardiman completed that report and noted the door-closure violation. The department scheduled a follow-up exit check for July 1.
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