News >Regional

Accident stops tap water for thousands in NE China

2010-07-01 14:45

CHANGCHUN - An accident at a construction site in Northeast China's Jilin province has damaged a water pipe and cut off tap water supplies to about 110,000 people since Tuesday, witnesses and the local authorities said Thursday.

The accident happened after part of a retaining wall around a 15-meter-deep foundation pit in downtown Changchun, the provincial capital, collapsed late Tuesday, the city government said in a press release.

"I was on my way back to my dorm when someone screamed," said a construction worker who declined to be named. "I turned around and saw water flooding the pit."

No deaths or injuries were reported, but the accident broke the underground water pipeline, cutting off supplies to about 110,000 people, including 35,000 students and teachers at Jilin University, the local government statement said.

At least two construction firms were working at the site. Some workers said steel bars weighing at least 3 tons were piled near the fence before the collapse. "It must have collapsed under the burden," one of them said.

More than 50 repair workers from the local water company were laying a 300-meter temporary pipeline on top of the broken pipe, hoping to resume tap water supplies by Friday.

The accident also damaged six underground cables and an optic-fiber cable, cutting Internet, telephone and cable TV for almost 20,000 homes, an official with the city's cable TV network said.

It said repairs were underway.

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