A water tower atop a River North building springs a huge leak. The building had to be evacuated, and now, the city wants answers. Natalie Martinez reports.
Demolition crews are expected to stabilize and tear down a River North water tank that began to precariously lean on Friday.
The area surrounding the tank, perched on a building in the 400 block of West Huron, was seen spurting water and listing to one side Friday afternoon. The building at 409 W. Huron, which includes Serafin and Associates, was evacuated by fire officials.
Thom Serafin, political analyst of Serafin and Associates, tweeted his offices were flooded and his building was being evacuated because of the tower.
Leaning River North Water Tower ruptures - Serafin PR offices flooded- bldg evacuated!!! pic.twitter.com/x5OACEf5FO
— Thom Serafin (@ThomSerafin) February 21, 2014
Last year three people were injured in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood when an old water tank fell from a nine-story building into an alley.
Neighbors who usually admire the structure were shocked to see it spilling its contents Friday.
"All of a sudden I heard this big bang, like metal popping ... straining. Then it just started gushing water," Scott Christiansen said.
Around 180 people were evacuated in the area surrounding the tank. The intersections of West Erie Street and North Hudson Avenue, and Erie and Orleans were shut down in the eastbound direction.
NBC 5 has learned the water tower has a spotty inspection record. According to a 2013 report, the building, and the water tower, failed city inspections.
City officials say they are going after the building owners and bumping up the court date for the 2013 infractions.
Fire officials said Friday they were also worried about an electrical transformer in the alley below the tower.