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Prudential Center Evacuated Due To Burst Pipe

This article is more than 10 years old.
A helicopter flies near the Prudential Center after the building was evacuated Friday because of a burst water pipe. (Alexandra Dukakis/WBUR Intern)
A helicopter flies near the Prudential Center after the building was evacuated Friday because of a burst water pipe. (Alexandra Dukakis/WBUR Intern)

A water pipe burst in the 52-story Prudential Center on Friday, forcing hundreds of people to flee, many of them down hot stairwells after power to the office building went out.

The leak originated in a cooling tower and water flowed into several areas of the building, officials said.

Electricity was cut off, knocking out elevator service and air conditioning and forcing workers to take stairs to leave the building. Temperatures in Boston on Friday were in the upper 80s with high humidity.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Boston fire trucks line the street near the Prudential Center in Boston's Back Bay. (Alexandra Dukakis/WBUR Intern)
Boston fire trucks line the street near the Prudential Center in Boston's Back Bay. (Alexandra Dukakis/WBUR Intern)

The Prudential Center, the second tallest building in Boston, is located in the heart of the bustling Back Bay neighborhood. More than 2,000 people are believed to work in the building on a typical weekday, although the actual number forced to leave may have been lower because it was a Friday during a heavy summer vacation period.

The building houses a number of companies as well as stores and restaurants in a first-floor atrium, where several inches of water pooled. There was no immediate word on the extent of the damage or when the building might reopen.

A spokeswoman for the building's management company did not immediately return calls for comment.

This program aired on August 21, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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