Philadelphia Public Works authorities recently reported a high-rise apartment building in downtown Philadelphia was recently evacuated after residents discovered a leak in one of the building's major pipes. The leak caused significant apartment water damage after bursting on the 28th floor of the 30-story building late at night.
The standpipe that burst is reserved for fire officials to access in the event of a fire in the building. The water leak caused flooding on several floors of the building, forcing the more than 200 residents in all 180 apartment units to flee the building. The Red Cross was called in to arrange shelter for residents in the building who had no place to sleep while the repairs were being made. No injuries were reported as a result of the water leak.
In addition, officials at the scene found a gas leak in the building on the sixth floor. The two pipes that ruptured were just two years old. Residents reported hearing a popping noise that they mistook for thunder when the pipes burst. One resident opened his door and looked into the hallways to find water rushing down from the exits. The water had a black color and smelled like oil.
As a safety precaution, officials shut off the electricity and gas service in the building once the leaks were reported. Thus, crews working on the repairs had to climb 30 flights of stairs rather than take the elevators to access the leaks and get service back up as soon as possible. Maintenance workers were also busy removing the dark, standing water from the hallways and affected apartments, and large fans were placed strategically throughout the hallways to accelerate the drying up of apartments hit with water damage.