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Siberian City Without Heating After Plant Breakdown

19 December 2005 -- More than 100,000 people in a Siberian city have been left without heat and hot water amid subzero temperatures after a breakdown yesterday at the central heating plant.

A spokeswoman from the Emergency Situations Ministry, Irina Andriyanova, said the incident occurred around midday on 18 December in the city of Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva Oblast, about 4,700 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

She said a short-circuit in the plant's electrical system caused a hot water pipe to burst.

Andriyanova said most residents in the city of 110,000 had small heating stoves that could keep homes from freezing entirely, but people would have no hot tap water until the plant was operational again.

Workers hoped to restore power and begin sending hot water flowing by early today.