Burst pipe causes Olympic office flood

The International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland were partially flooded Sunday after an old water pipe burst, damaging archives and knocking out communications, the organization said.

Burst pipe causes Olympic office flood
IOC headquarters in Lausanne (Photo: Arnaud Gaillard)

The pipe, which had weakened with age, burst early on Sunday near the organization's headquarters and large amounts of water gushed into the basement, IOC chief Christophe De Kepper told reporters in Lausanne.

In some places, the water stood as high as two metres (6.6 feet), De Kepper said.

Around 20 to 30 percent of the IOC's recent paper archives were damaged, he said.

But De Kepper said none of the organization's historic archives were destroyed since they were housed separately at the IOC museum.

The server rooms in the headquarter basement were meanwhile all flooded, knocking out the building's internet and telephone connections.

Some 150 of the organization's staff would be relocated to another IOC building in the city on Monday, De Kepper said.

Some parts of the headquarters building were not expected to be operational until Wednesday, he said.

De Kepper said it was too early to estimate how much it would cost to repair the damage.

A camping site and several restaurants were also flooded when the pipe burst, and the main highway was closed for several hours early on Sunday, civil protection services said in a statement.

Around 100 people, drawn from the fire brigade, city water and road services, civil protection units and police, rapidly arrived on site and
managed to halt the leak and begin pumping out the flooded buildings.

The flooding at the IOC was not linked to the heavy rain that has hit the canton of Vaud and neighbouring regions in recent days and that has caused some flooding elsewhere.

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Hear ye, here ye! This Swiss city is looking for a town crier

Can you carry a tune? Are you a night owl? If so, this job posting in Switzerland may be up right up your (cobblestone) alley. Here’s how you can submit an application for this… very high position.

Hear ye, here ye! This Swiss city is looking for a town crier
The hat and coat are optional for the job. Photo by Lausanne Tourisme

As far as unusual employment opportunities go, this one from Lausanne is — quite literally — tops.

The city, which employs one of Europe’s last remaining town criers, is looking for people to fill this position on part-time basis.

What’s a town crier?

In Lausanne’s case, it is a person who announces the hours every night between 10 pm and 2 am from the bell tower of the city’s imposing Gothic cathedral, a landmark overlooking the roofs of the picturesque Old Town.

The workplace: Lausanne Cathedral. Photo by Lausanne Tourisme

The person who will assume this position will continue a tradition that this city in the canton of Vaud has cherished since 1405.

These are the requirements for the job:

  • To watch over the city each night
  • Announce each hour on the hour between 10pm and 2am in a melodious voice (in French, but knowledge of foreign languages is a plus)
  • Be able to climb 53 stone steps to the cathedral’s bell tower
  • Not have a criminal record
  • No falling asleep on the job
  • Have a business apprenticeship certificate (we are not sure why)

This is 365-days-a-year job, but the new hire will share the position with other criers.

Interested? This is how you can apply.