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Ice-Covered Building Causes City To Close Section Of Wabash In South Loop

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A section of Wabash Street will remain close at least through Monday morning rush hour in the South Loop due to falling ice.

A broken sprinkler system on an upper floor of a building at 615 S. Wabash caused the front to become covered in ice on Saturday night, according to Chicago Police officers guarding the scene.

A spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department said the exact cause of the water leak was not known, but the leak caused water to spill from a top floor down the front of the building, which then froze and encased a front-facing fire escape.

The leak was stopped, and crews immediately closed down the sidewalk as police put up barricades at both ends of the block to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from straying into the area to prevent injuries from falling ice. No injuries were reported.

Wabash was closed between Balbo and Harrison due concerns about falling ice, and was expected to remain closed as crews applied a calcium-chloride compound in an effort to melt the ice, according to Rich Guidice, first deputy director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Several businesses on the block have closed shop until the situation is resolved out of fears the icy fire escape could be dangerous to people on the street, Guidice said. A building engineer will be on the scene Monday to determine whether the fire escape is safe for continued use.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2018. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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