Water main break forces evacuations at Philadelphia mall

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 18, 2015 10:26 PM

By Natalie Pompilio

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A water main break flooded a busy shopping center in Philadelphia on Thursday, damaging businesses and forcing about 100 people in the area to be evacuated, some of them by raft, a Philadelphia Water Department official said.

The rupture of a 48-inch pipe running through the parking lot of the Bakers Square complex in the northwest part of the city flooded the area with about 13 million gallons of water, said Philadelphia Water Department spokesman John DiGiulio. 

Nearby railroad tracks used by the company CSX Corp appeared to have been damaged, DiGiulio said. Six businesses at the shopping center were closed for cleaning from the flood and were expected to reopen on Friday, he said.

Witnesses told television station WCAU the fast-moving water completely covered some parked cars. Firefighters walked people through the flood and used an inflatable raft to get others out, according to the television station.

DiGiulio confirmed that about 100 people, including customers and employees at the shopping center, were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Robert Birsel)