DURHAM, N.H. – Officials at the University of New Hampshire have determined that a hot water pipe failure outside Hunter Hall the afternoon of Saturday, April 6, 2013, was the result of erosion to the pipe that took place over an undetermined amount of time. The three female students who suffered serious burns to their feet while evacuating the building remain hospitalized.
The pipe that delivers hot water to the building for the heating system is located under a pipe that delivers hot water for sinks and showers. Officials believe that pipe, which is several decades old, had been slowly leaking for some time, continuously spraying hot water on the second larger and newer pipe, corroding the exterior and causing premature failure.
Maintenance crews repaired the two hot water pipes leading into the building Sunday and heat was returned to Hunter, Gibbs and Engelhardt halls, known as the lower quad, shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
University administrators are in contact with the families of the three students and will provide whatever assistance they need.