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Heating failure freezes 23,000 households in NE China


13:34, December 03, 2012

HARBIN, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- A heating system malfunction that began on Friday in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, has left over 23,000 households without heat for the last 60 hours.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, residents were still reporting freezing temperatures inside their homes, with temps outside dropping to almost negative 20 degrees Celsius due to snowy weather.

"I'm still cold at home even after putting on a sweater, down jacket, cotton pants and two pairs of wool socks," said local resident surnamed Xiao.

The city's heating service provider said Monday that the failure was caused by a cracked pipeline, adding that repairs are under way.

"It is not known yet when heat will be restored," a company spokesman said.

The spokesman said the city's pipe network is aging but still in use, which has resulted in occasional failures.

The municipal government has advised affected residents to turn to relatives or hotels. The government is also contemplating offering compensation to those affected.

Harbin is known as China's "ice city" because of its cold weather, as well as its annual international ice and snow festival.

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