Mall Officials Say A Sprinkler Pipe Burst, Causing The Chaotic Moments

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BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — A sprinkler pipe burst Thursday afternoon at South Hills Village Mall, sending dirty, black water gushing from a hole in the ceiling and creating some uncertain moments for shoppers.

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Videos posted to social media showed the water pouring from the large hole in the ceiling on the second floor of the mall near the Victoria’s Secret.

(Photo Credit: Makayla Eslep)

It all started with a loud boom, and then came the rushing water, cascading like a waterfall down to the first floor. Shoppers took out their cell phones to record what was happening.

No one knew exactly what was happening initially, some thought the ceiling was collapsing. It was a startling scene of water rushing from overhead to busy lower level shops.

Makayla Eslep was shopping for back-to-school at Bethany College with her younger sister, who attends Ringgold High School.

“Everybody was shocked. We all didn’t know what to do. Security came and started telling us all to back up so they could try to contain the situation,” Eslep said. “The Apple Store was completely flooded. That’s the store I saw the most of. They had to close their doors. They had to unplug all the tables because of the chargers. It’s bad.”

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(Photo Credit: Jeff Healy/Facebook)

A spokesperson for Simon Properties, the mall management company, confirms a pipe used in the sprinkler system burst, causing some of the ceiling drywall to fall and the water to gush.

Even people who weren’t at the mall heard and saw what happened, like Chris Mazoch, of Upper St. Clair, “A lot of back-to-school shoppers shopping and trying to walk around the mess.”

Amy Wadas’ Report:

The mall remained open, but 10 stores were closed, including the Apple store, which is right at the bottom of where the water was cascading.

(Photo Credit: JoAnn Zotis Hajnosz)

While mall personnel assessed the situation, janitors and security began mopping up the water. They say it appeared dirty and dark in color from old water sitting in the sprinkler pipe.

No injuries were reported.

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Nine of the 10 stores are expected to reopen Friday, but the mall says if you are unsure about a particular store, call ahead first.