25/02/11 - Major high rise water leak, 3,500 evacuated

Published: 25th February 2011

On Friday 25 February Sydney fire crews were kept busy with a major water leak and flooding from the twentieth level of the AMP Centre building in Bridge Street, Sydney. Crews were alerted by way of an Automatic Fire Alarm just after 9.15am and discovered that a fresh water supply pipe had ruptured, releasing approximately 100,000 litres of water from the twentieth level. The water penetrated lift shafts and several service conduits causing all lifts within the building to stop. Crews became aware that a number of people were trapped in lifts and additional fire crews were quickly called in to assist with the operation. Fire crews from City of Sydney, The Rocks, Darlinghurst, Pyrmont, Redfern. Marrickville and Crows Nest attended the incident.

It took about an hour to release seven people trapped in lifts however due to the closure of the lifts the 3,500 building occupants were advised to remain in situation throughout the building. In consultation with building management it was determined that since the building no longer had water for air conditioning, drinking and hygiene purposes, it was no longer safe for occupation and when the lifts were reactivated at 11.23am, all 3,500 occupants were evacuated safely from the building without injury. Maintenance crews repaired the faults and the building was declared safe for re-occupation later on Friday night.