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‘Horrifying to imagine what was inside’: 5 people killed as hot water pipe bursts in Russian hostel (VIDEO)

Five people have died and three have been hospitalized with severe burns after a hot water pipe burst at a hostel in Russia.

The incident happened in Perm, some 1,155km (718 miles) east of Moscow. The pipe burst around 2am local time on Monday, sending steam and boiling-hot water throughout the small hostel, located on the basement floor of an apartment complex.

“There was steam, and water has reached the hostel’s entrance. I’m afraid to imagine what was going on inside the building,” one witness told local media.

A video from the scene shows clouds of thick white steam coming from the hostel’s doors and a window.

A resident from apartment told reporters that the building’s staircase had partially filled with steam. “Our lights immediately went off and the heating shut down. Then the ambulances arrived. I could only hear them shouting ‘go-go, faster-faster,’” the woman said.

Five guests were killed inside the hostel, according to emergency services. Three more victims in their late 20s and 30s were hospitalized with burns to their feet and backs. Two rescuers also sustained burn injuries to their feet as well.

Local media reported that the pipe in question was constructed nearly 60 years ago. According to documents cited by the press, the building’s management company had planned to “completely” replace the heating system last year, however, it is unclear whether any work was actually done. In reviews, hostel guests had complained that rooms had no windows.

A criminal investigation has been launched following the tragedy.

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