Boiling deluge swamps Sunday disco

A weekend party in the Russian Urals turned a into a sauna when boiling water from a nearby hot water main swamped the dance-hall of the “Gold” club. More than 450 people were evacuated, five of them in a critical condition.

Two of the seriously injured, a young man and a woman, remain in intensive care with 23 per cent of their bodies burnt. Medics are deciding whether surgery is needed, according to the Interfax news agency on Monday.

The accident occurred in the city of Yekaterinburg in Russia’s Urals region on Sunday. The boiling deluge came from a nearby pipe well and caught revelers right in the middle of the party – at around 2am. In a matter of minutes, the parking lot and dance-hall of the party venue turned into a pool of bubbling water.

The water submerged the cars up to their roofs, witnesses said. The floor of the dance hall was awash with some 120 centimeters or water and the indoor temperature jumped to some 40 degrees Celsius.   

People in the club could do nothing but climb as high as possible using tables and chairs as life-boats and wait to be rescued. Security men and club staff managed to evacuate some 150 people before the rescue team arrived. They used furniture as “pontoons” to help people get out of the unwelcome sauna. 

Many passers-by took part in the operation as well. The rescue efforts were severely complicated by the parked vehicles which prevented the special units from getting closer to the doors. Rescuers had to carry 300 people bodily from the club. Later, the waterlogged vehicles were dragged from the car park.

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CCTV video from Youtube, uploaded by user ruslonick on Oct 16, 2011.

The owners of the “Gold” club estimate losses of around 60 million rubles (some US $2 million), the local press reported on Monday. They will not sue the power engineers, but will negotiate possible compensation for the damage.   

“We’ve suffered millions of dollars of losses. However, through our insurance company, we will do our best to help the victims of the accident,” website quoted the club’s lawyer as saying.  

All the next day engineers were involved in relief work. They restored the heating system on Monday, so there is now no shortage of hot water in the district.

Experts will now determine the cause of the failure of the heating main, which was repaired not long ago and had passed all the required pressure tests.