On the 20 January it was reported that five people had died after a heating pipe exploded and flooded a basement hotel with boiling water, in the Russian city of Perm. Another six people were injured, with three hospitalized suffering serious burns. The incident took place at the Mini Hotel Caramel, a nine-room hotel located in the basement of a residential building. A child was among the dead, who were all guests of the hotel.
Authorities have opened a criminal case on the grounds of failure to meet health and safety requirements. Initial reports claimed the rooms did not have windows and that there was only one exit.
It was a terrible way to die. The cellar was flooded at night, while guests were asleep, with highly pressurized boiling water. The five bodies were only found after the water was pumped out of the hotel. Rescue workers at the scene received scalds while pulling people out the flooded building.
It’s been reported that the hotel was inspected in February 2019, with a number of health and safety violations found. Speculation also surrounds the water pipe itself, which is rumored to have been in use since 1962 and suffered a number of previous leaks, which had all resulted in repair, rather than replacement.
Whatever the outcome of the investigations, one thing is very clear, this terrible tragedy should never have happened.