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Thousands spend night without heat after hot water pipe leaks in Mok-dong

An underground hot water pipe in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, leaked Tuesday, cutting off hot water and heat to more than 1,800 households for 17 hours.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Energy Corporation, 1,882 housing units had no heat or hot water after the pipe leaked near an apartment complex in the Mok-dong neighborhood at around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. 


A resident reported seeing steam rising from a flower bed in front of an apartment building at around 8:50 a.m.

Heat was restored to the affected units at around 5:30 p.m., but an additional rupture was found 20 meters away.

The repair work was completed around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, and heating had resumed as of 3 a.m.

The Seoul Energy Corporation and the Yangcheon-gu Office distributed heating pads, blankets and hot packs to the affected households. They also operated shelters at a local YMCA as well as a community center auditorium in Mok 5-dong.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon visited the site around 11 p.m. on Tuesday and urged a thorough investigation and speedy repairs. “If necessary, we should consider replacing them (the pipes) stage by stage,” he said.

The corporation is investigating the exact cause of the accident, but speculates that the hot water pipe, which was installed in 1985, may have been corroded. 

By Lee So-jeong (