Reservoir leak results in casualties in Xinjiang

Photo taken on Feb. 2, 2013 shows the breached dyke of the Lianfeng Reservoir in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. At least one person was killed and serveral injured after a dyke breaching occured at the reservior on the morning of Saturday. The rescue work is underway. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)

A reservoir leak in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has left one dead and more than a dozen injured, rescuers said Saturday.

The Lianfeng Reservoir in Kaziwan Village, located about 25 km from Urumqi, the regional capital, began to lose water around 6:10 a.m., sources with the reservoir administration said.

Water gushed out and flowed into a nearby village, blocking traffic and flooding some local houses.

The point of the leak has since expanded to a break of about 10 meters along the dam, according to Xinhua reporters at the scene.

Rescuers have found a deceased elderly person floating on the water and brought 13 others to safety.

Xinhua reporters saw about 10 people with injuries related to freezing temperatures, as the low fell to 20 degrees Celsius below zero, and two injured people who have been hospitalized are in serious condition.

The reservoir has a designed capacity of 300,000 cubic meters of water, and it was holding an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 cubic meters of water prior to the leak.

Search and rescue efforts are underway.


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