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Siberian city is without water

BARNAUL, Russia, March 17 (UPI) -- About 70,000 people were without water in the Siberian city of Barnaul following a major supply breakdown, authorities said.

City crews were working to repair a collapsed sewage channel that triggered the breakdown in water supplies, ITAR-Tass reported Thursday.

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Water supplies were cut off to about 750 residences, 13 hospitals and 34 schools, officials said.

Authorities said they were most concerned about the lack of water at Barnaul's main hospital with its intensive care and maternity wards. No new patients were being accepted there, and maternity cases were being sent to another facility, they said.

Trucks were being used to bring water to the hardest-hit areas, officials said.

"The city water utility arranged the round-the-clock water supplies upon the requests of ordinary people for water supplies," a city source said. "All water tankers were engaged in the water supplies."

The water shortage affected three out of five districts in Barnaul, the largest city in the Siberian Altai Territory, ITAR-Tass said.

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