At least five people including a child died in the Russian city of Perm on Monday when a broken heating pipe flooded their hotel rooms with scalding water, investigators said.
The accident happened in a small private hotel located in the basement of an apartment block in the industrial city in the Urals region, some 1,100 kilometres (700 miles) east of Moscow.
“At least five people died and a further three were taken to hospital with burns,” the Investigative Committee, which probes major incidents, said in a statement.
Those who died were all staying at the Karamel hotel, which has five single and double rooms, according to its website.
The hotel did not have an emergency exit while the water pipe that burst dated back to 1962, the building’s managing company said in a statement.
Hot water is piped under streets at a high temperature to supply homes in Russia and when these pipes burst, the scalding water and steam can cause fatal accidents, with cars sometimes plunging into holes that open up inroads.
Investigators have opened a criminal probe into the provision of dangerous services to consumers.