Olympic headquarters flooded after water pipe bursts
LAUSANNE (AFP) –
The International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland were partially flooded Sunday after an old water pipe burst, damaging archives and knocking out communications, the organisation said.
The pipe, which had been weakened with age, had burst early Sunday near the organisation’s headquarters and large amounts of water had gushed into the basement, IOC chief Christophe De Kepper told reporters in Lausanne.
In some places, the water stood as high as two metres (6.6 feet), he said.
Around 20 to 30 percent of the IOC’s recent paper archives had been damaged, he said, stressing though that none of the organisation’s historic archives had been destroyed since they were housed separately at the IOC museum.
The server rooms in the headquarters basement had meanwhile all been flooded, knocking out the building’s internet and telephone connections.
Some 150 of the organisation’s staff would be relocated to another IOC building in the city on Monday, and some parts of the headquarters building were not expected to be operational until Wednesday, De Kepper said.
He said it was too early to estimate how much it would cost to repair the damage.
A camping site and several restaurants were also flooded when the pipe burst, and the main highway was closed for several hours early Sunday, civil protection services said in a statement.
Around 100 people, drawn from the fire brigade, city water and road services, civil protection units and police, rapidly arrived on site and managed to halt the leak and begin pumping out the flooded buildings.
The flooding at the IOC was not linked to the heavy rain that has hit the canton of Vaud and neighbouring regions in recent days and that has caused some flooding elsewhere.