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IOC headquarters flooded

2012-11-12 18:34
IOC headquarters (AP)

Lausanne - The headquarters of the IOC were closed on Monday after a burst water main sent water flooding through the building, damaging non-essential archives and knocking out power and communications.

Torrents of water poured through the ground floor and basement level of the International Olympic Committee offices early Sunday after the main burst about 200m away in the lakeside Vidy area of Lausanne.

"It was like a big wave coming down the road to the building," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. "The water accumulated in the basement and burst through the windows of one of the meeting rooms."

IOC staff worked on Monday from home and at other committee offices located in another part of Lausanne. IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Paris on Monday for an anti-doping conference but was being kept up to date on the situation.

The flooding cut power and telephone service and knocked out the IOC's computer servers. The underground parking garage was also partially flooded.

"The main problem is re-establishing power," Adams said.

The worst damage was in the basement, where the water level reached 2-3m and flooded meeting rooms, kitchens and some archives.

"These were mainly business archives and correspondence from the last 10 years," Adams said. "There were no historical or valuable archives affected. The real treasures are all located elsewhere."

Those archives that were damaged have been taken away and may be restored, Adams said. Some of the material had previously been electronically stored.

Adams said it is hoped that some staff can start returning to the building on Tuesday or Wednesday and that everything will be back to normal by the end of the week. About 150 people work at IOC headquarters.

"In the end, I don't think there will be major damage," Adams said. "There is no structural damage. The archives are pretty safe. It's annoying but it's not as bad as it first looked."

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