BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Construction workers laying underground cables accidentally broke water and gas pipelines in Beijing's bustling business hub of Guomao Monday, flooding roads, disrupting traffic and cutting water supplies to about 600 households for eleven hours, authorities said.
The accident occurred at dawn Monday near the Guomao Bridge on the east section of Beijing's Third Ring Road when heavy machinery damaged major water and gas pipelines, Zhao Jing, a manager with Beijing Water Group, told Xinhua.
Guomao is home to a number of large corporations and hotels. Traffic in the area snarled during the morning rush hour, prompting authorities to mobilize over 600 traffic police to the area.
Residents complained about the intense smell after the gas leak.
Fire trucks were put on stand-by as workers tried to stop the leak.
Zhao said the water company closed the pipeline valve at around 3:40 a.m. and that a 60-man team took eight hours to fix the damage.
The repairs were finished at about 2:30 p.m. and water supply resumed shortly after.
Zhao blamed the construction workers for failing to consult the water company and not strictly following rules pertaining to the laying of underground communication cables.
About 30 to 40 cases of damaged pipelines due to reckless construction occur in Beijing every year, Zhao added.
The accident caused no casualties.