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Water main ruptures at LAX, but doesn't affect flights, traffic

July 16, 2009 |  7:24 pm

A water main break Thursday afternoon added a new twist to the challenges of flying out of Los Angeles International Airport.

The break at 4:09 p.m. flooded the lowest level of a parking structure, but also knocked out water service to Terminals 2, 3 and 4. That forced the airport to close the restrooms in those terminals and restrict food concessions to only prepackaged food and beverages.

Among the airlines using the affected terminals are Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Alaska, American, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic. (A full list can be found here.)

The water main break did not affect flights or vehicular traffic at the airport, LAX spokeswoman Nancy Castles said, although Parking Structure 2B has been closed until the break is repaired. She said there is plenty of parking in adjacent structures.

The main ruptured beneath Structure 2B, which is one of two garages serving Terminal 2. “There was some flooding in the parking structure because it was on the lowest level, and that area was surrounded by the walls of the parking structure," Castles said. "One vehicle was partially under water, while other vehicles in that area were towed to higher ground."

At its high point, the water was just below the top of a 3 1/2-foot wall, she said.

Castles said the cause was not known. She noted that there was a minor earthquake beneath LAX earlier this week, but said she had no idea if that contributed to the break.

Castles said she expected water service to remain out at the terminals through the evening. Shortly before 7 p.m., she said workers were delivering portable toilets that were being set up outside the terminals.

—Mitchell Landsberg