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Pipe blowout, hot water gushing in Almaty, five injured 12 февраля 2014, 12:32

A pipe burst in Almaty and a huge amount of hot water was gushing out into the pavement releasing clouds of steam.
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Still-frame from STV video. ©STV Still-frame from STV video. ©STV
Despite the cold winter weather, Almaty residents were risking a bad scalding this Monday. A pipe burst at the crossing of Raimbek and Seifullin streets and a huge amount of hot water was gushing out into the pavement releasing clouds of steam and threatening people’s feet and even more, Tengrinews reports. Five people have been injured. One of them – an elderly man - was scalded very badly when he fell in the nearly boiling-hot water. All the injured people have been taken to the hospital, and two of them were discharged later the same day. All the people injured in the accident will receive compensations from the Almaty Zhylu Holding that operates the damaged pipe and its insurance company. A passenger bus got stuck in a large pit indiscernible under the water layers of water and steam. All the passengers had to be evacuated. According to the Emergency Department of Almaty the accident cut 134 buildings from heat and water, including 3 schools, 3 kindergartens, 2 hospital and 63 multi-storey residential buildings and 33 private houses. Emergency repair services of Almaty managed to stop the hot water flow and mend the pipe overnight restoring the water and heat supply in the area. Almaty Zhylu Holding, the company managing the city’s utilities, said that the pipe raptured in the afternoon on February 10. Emergency repair team cut the water supply to the damaged section, pumped out the excessive water from the area to find the exact location of the pipe brake and welded it. All the mending works were completed by 1 a.m. on February 11. Refilling of the pipe with water took until 4 a.m. after that the heat supply was back to normal. The blitz emergency repair works involved over 100 people and 21 vehicles. Director General of Almaty Zhylu Holding Mikhail Korzhov said that the pipe broke because of the excessive tear and wear of the city’s utilities networks. These 800mm steel pipes buried 5 meters below the surface have not been replaced since 1985. The company is planning to replace the section with new pipes this year. “This section of the heating network is 3 kilometers long. Two kilometers have been replaced and the remaining kilometer will be replaced this year,” Korzhov promised. By Tatyana Kuzmina

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