Steam leak heats surface of downtown sidewalk to hundreds of deg - KMOV.com

Steam leak heats surface of downtown sidewalk to hundreds of degrees

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A super-heated surface in the middle of a busy downtown sidewalk. Credit: KMOV A super-heated surface in the middle of a busy downtown sidewalk. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A super-heated surface in the middle of a busy downtown sidewalk.

It's happened before in downtown St. Louis, severely burning a little girl playing barefoot and now News 4 has discovered another leak.

“That's hot, really hot something needs to be done about that,” said one man walking downtown Thursday.

People walking along Market at 11th street told News 4 they could feel the wave of heat rising from the sidewalk.

"From the steam, that's not safe, that can hurt a lot of people,” said another person.

The steam is escaping from a pipeline under the city--up through cracks in concrete--and heating up the metal on the manhole covers.

Temperatures in the area registering 214 degrees and hotter.

That is almost the exact same temperature as a manhole cover in Kiener Plaza that became superheated from a leak in the system last year.

A little girl severely burned her feet when she walked on the cover.

The owners of a local restaurant have also complained of a leak near their property for several years.

In February, News 4 Investigates talked with officials from Ashley Energy, the steam plant on the river downtown.

When News 4 contacted them on Thursday, a representative said they have known about the leak near the courthouse and it's scheduled for repair Thursday or Friday. Friday the city put up a barricade around the area to make sure pedestrians didn't get injured. 

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