Students and staff at a Fall River, Massachusetts high school will not have classes on Wednesday or Thursday after a water main burst, sending thousands of gallons of water into the building.
Fall River Superintendent Matthew Malone tells NBC10 Boston that a sprinkler riser broke off a 6-inch pipe around 3 a.m., sending about 50,000 gallons of water into B.M.C. Durfee High School.
"We had about 4 to 5 inches on the third and fourth floors. There's no first and second floor in that wing of the building," said Malone. "We had about 4 feet welled up in the stairways."
It took firefighters about an hour after the initial break to find and shut off the valve.
"This is the worst designed high school. We need a new high school," said Malone. "It was a catastrophic failure because of age and design of the building."
The water has since been released outside, leaving behind severe damage in the school's science wing.
"This is sad," Malone said. "This is not a good day for us."
The superintendent's office said the break was not related to weather issues.
Officials told WJAR-TV that part of the school's kitchen area was also damaged, but firefighters worked hard to limit that damage because the high school produces food for other schools in the area.
The decision to keep the school closed on Thursday amid ongoing repairs was announced by the school district Wednesday afternoon. It's unclear when the school will reopen.