An underground pipe carrying hot water burst Tuesday evening north of Seoul, killing one and injuring 22 others. The incident near Baekseok Subway Station in Ilsan -- a district within Goyang, Gyeonggi Province -- left nearly 3,000 homes without heat or hot water, fire authorities said.
A 69-year-old man was found dead in the back seat of a car after apparently being trapped there.
“The victim seems to have suffered burns from the hot water that rushed into the car right after the accident, but the exact cause of death requires further investigation,” a police source said.
The accident occurred around 8 p.m. and caused the pipe to spew hot water, burning a number of passersby, who were taken to a nearby hospital. According to fire authorities, two people suffered serious burns and 20 sustained minor injuries.
“Water hotter than 80 degrees Celsius spilled into nearby stores,” fire authorities said, adding that some people in the stores had sustained burns as a result.
The lack of heat and hot water during a cold wave had residents scrambling to keep warm.
More than 3,000 households in nearby areas, including Baekseok, Madu and Haengshin, lack hot water as a result of the accident. Heating was temporarily restored at around 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Fire authorities say the spill affected all areas within a 200-meter radius of the accident, causing heavy traffic congestion and thick steam during the evening rush hour.
The exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined, but an official at the site speculated that the damaged pipes had rusty valves.
“We are trying to find out the cause of the accident,” the official added.
By Lee So-jeong (email@example.com)