Friday Funny: Philly Skyscraper Springs Mysterious Leak

Last weekend, a torrent of water mysteriously gushed from a Philadelphia skyscraper, drenching the streets below it and confusing onlookers.

Philadelphia is famous for its delicious water ices, but last weekend the City of Brotherly Love went viral for entirely different form of water.

On Sunday morning, a large stream of water gushed from the side of one of Philadelphia’s iconic buildings, One Liberty Place. The water flowed from the 61-story skyscraper for five minutes, soaking the sidewalk and cars below, and confusing all who saw it.

(Photo: Danya Henninger / Billy Penn)

At first, the reason for the torrent for the water was unknown. According to news website Billy Penn there was no fire alarm, and no signs of damage to the building. Even more confusing, fire officials, the Department of Licenses and Inspections, and the city water department had no explanations for the event. A security official at the facility referred calls to the management office, but it was closed.

The cascade of water continued for five minutes before coming to an abrupt halt just as inexplicably as it had started. Several videos of the incident have since gone viral. Watch one from Billy Penn’s Twitter feed here.

The mystery of the water spewing out of One Liberty Place was finally solved when fire department spokesman Kathy Matheson provided an answer to Billy Penn. According to Matheson, the urban waterfall was caused by a fire system test: One Liberty Place was built in 1987, so it lacks a modern drainage system to prevent the surge of water that shot out.

“Newer buildings are equipped with special drainage systems that pull off most of the water that is generated by such tests,” she explained. “Liberty 1 wasn’t required to have this [because] of when it was built.”

Matheson added that the building’s management has been directed to get a street closure permit and police assistance for such tests in the future.

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