By Michael Evans
One person was killed and 20 hospitalized after a Xinjiang village was flooded with freezing water Saturday.
The Lianfeng reservoir outside Urumqi began to lose water around 6am February 2 when a retaining wall that was under repair collapsed, sending as much as 100,000 cubic meters of water into the nearby Kaziwan village.
Surface water quickly froze as temperatures hovered around -15 C Saturday. A 65-year-old villager apparently drowned and 20 residents were treated for possible lower-leg frostbite after standing in the freezing water before being rescued, Xinhua reported.
“Many of the 20 injured, aged from 4 months to 78, were treated for frozen feet and ankles,” a director surnamed Liu from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University told the Global Times.
Authorities say they are still investigating the cause of the accident. The dam had been declared “dangerous” last year, with a reinforcement project having been begun late last summer.