Water Main Break In Montreal Sweeps Students Down Street

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 29, 2013 4:48 PM EST

A water main break in downtown Montreal Monday flooded several buildings on the McGill campus and literally swept away students and pedestrians off their feet on the snow-covered streets.

The flood began near McGill University during the rush hour, paralyzing sections of the city, reported CTV NEWS.

According to the TV channel, the flood was caused by a 90-centimetre water main that broke at a construction site close to the city's core.

Speaking to reporters at a brief press conference, Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum said that he had already sent emergency crews to the main break, and assured that the flood should be shut off completely by 8 p.m.

The National Post reported that pedestrians and students wrapped themselves in garbage bags to protect their lower body from the ice-cold water they crossed submerged streets.

"At least one student was swept away by the gushing ice-water as she tried to cross the flooding street," the news paper quoted witnesses as saying.

"The volume of water has now slowed substantially in many areas, but it is unclear whether the flow has yet been completely stopped at the source near the MacTGavish Reservoir. We still urge you (students) to use extreme caution when crossing streets, as they continue to be very slippery," said the McGill University in a statement on their website Monday night.

The University has suffered some damage as a result of the flood and warned students not to use the elevators on campus.

"Do not assume the elevators will be working in your building. We will try to update the elevator situation early tomorrow," added the university in the statement.

The McGill website update said that the university cancelled evening classes Monday but added classes would resume Tuesday, except for some departments on the campus.

According to CTV NEWS, two minor injuries were reported relating to people slipping.

The incident did not affect the quality of drinking water in the city

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